ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Brasilia

DAY 15 (1 OF 3) – SANTUARIO DOM BOSCO, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

After all the Niemeyer projects we saw yesterday, the Santuario Dom Bosco (Sanctuary Dom Bosco) was the only non-Niemeyer building we visited in Brasilia.  Built in early 1960s, this magnificent church was designed by Carlos Alberto Naves.  The modernist exterior has done well to conceal the magnificent interiors.  Approaching from the street, we did not expect the true beauty of the interior until we stepped in a side door located at the base of one of the Gothic arches.  With 80 columns at a height of 16m, the four outer walls of the building provide the maximum wall area to showcase fantastic stained glass window made of 12 shades of blue.  The stained glass windows were designed by Claudio Naves and manufactured by Hubert Van Doorne.  Apart from the stained glass windows, we were also overwhelmed by the 3.5m giant chandelier at the centre of the room.  It was made of 7400 pieces of Murano glass.  Weighted 10 tonnes, a massive block of pink marble forms the altar of the sanctuary.

Sanctuary Dom Bosco was the last building we visited in Brasilia.  We spent about an hour at the sanctuary before heading back to our hotel, grabbed our backpacks, and hopped onto a bus for the airport.  Our next stop would be Belo Horizonte, the state capital of Minas Gerais. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

Next Destination: Minas Gerais, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 15.2

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

Advertisements

DAY 14 (5 OF 5) – CONGRESSO NACIONAL, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Congress Nacional (National Congress) is perhaps the most iconic architecture in Brasilia. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the National Congress houses the seat of the Senate and the Chamber of the Deputies, and offices of the federal government. No English tour was available today. We could only join a Portuguese tour to visit the interior of the building. We saw the main media hall on the second level, a tunnel with displays depicting the historical timeline of Brazilian politics, and the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies. The tour was way overcrowded with many groups of local visitors. Many were particularly excited when they saw display of state flags during the tour. After the tour, we thought the tour at Itamaraty Palace was way more interesting than the visit of the Congress.
ImageImageImageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_7318OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (4 OF 5) – PALACIO ITAMARATY, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Palacio Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace) is the headquarters of the Ministry of External Relations.  Again designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the building was completed in 1970.  Since then, it was used primarily to receive foreign guests of the government.  We took a 45-minute English tour that led us into the main lobby on the ground level with a spiral staircase, and a reception dining room and rooftop terrace on the second level.  National treasures since independence and modern sculptures dotted the interior of both levels.  We also visited the semi-indoor garden on the ground level planted with species from the Amazon.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (3 OF 5) – CATEDRAL METROPOLITANA, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral of Brasilia) was the first building that we could get in for a visit. Built in 1970, the cathedral is circular in plan with 16 hyperboloid concrete structures and a unique 2-layer system of stained glass windows. Encircled with a shallow reflecting pool, we entered the building via a ramp down from the forecourt that went beneath the pool. Once we got inside, the sheer volume of the building, its marble finishes, elegant curves, and the magnificent stain glass windows created a wow effect upon us.
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (2 OF 5) – EIXO MONUMENTAL, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Along the central axis of the Pilot Plan, Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer located the most significant buildings of the Brazilian capital on the Eixo Monumental (Axis of Monuments).  All the iconic buildings of Brasilia were intended to be seen as monumental objects rising on vast open land.  Almost all of them were designed by Oscar Niemeyer.  We spent most of the day checking out the buildings in the eastern section of the axis, including the following buildings west to east: Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), Biblioteca Nacional (National Library), Museu Nacional (National Museum), Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral), Palacio do Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace), Palacio da Justica (Palace of Justice), Congresso Nacional (National Congress), Praca dos Tres Poderes (Plaza of Three Towers), Palacio do Planalto (Planalto Palace), Panteão da Pátria Tancredo Neves (Pantheon). Image
Teatro Nacional (National Theatre)Image
Biblioteca Nacional (National Library)Image
Museu Nacional (National Museum)Image
Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral)Image
Govenment Buildings
Image
Palacio do Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace)Image
Congresso Nacional (National Congress)ImageImageImageImageImage
Praca dos Tres Poderes (Plaza of Three Towers)

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (1 OF 5) – PILOT PLAN, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Enlisted on the World Heritage list in 1987, Brasilia is the only modern city recognized by the UNESCO for its unique city planning and architecture.  In 1956, President Juscelino Kubitschek decided to move Brazil’s capital from Rio de Janeiro to an interior location, a symbolic gesture to move away from Brazil’s colonial past to a central location closer to the hinderland away from the Atlantic coast.  Lucio Costa, an architect and urban planner, won the planning competition for the new capital – Brasilia in 1957.  Partnered with Oscar Niemeyer (architect responsible for most notable buildings) and Roberto Burle Marx (landscape architect responsible for many parks and gardens), the planning and architectural design were developed in a short period of time, and the new capital was officially inaugurated in 1961, 3.5 years after the start of construction.  Named as the Pilot Plan, the layout of Brasilia is the only example of Modernist city planning realized in full scale.  In aerial view, Brasilia looks like an airplane or a bird with open wings.  All federal buildings are located along the central axis known as the Axis of Monuments.  Residential quarters are organized in different sections at both “wings” of the plan.  At the heart of the plan lies the Central Bus Station, wrapped with the Hotel and Banking Sectors.  Efficiency of automobile traffic and strict organization according to specific functions of each city zone were the main features of Costa’s plan.  Brasilia reflects the Modernist fascination for the machine age and the rise of the automobile culture in mid 20th century.  Everything was planned in a monumental scale that could only be appreciated when traveling by a car.  For pedestrians, however, crossing a multi-lane roadway or walking on a poorly lit sidewalk during nighttime has always been a nightmare, especially for today when Brasilia’s population of 2.7 million inhabitants has greatly outgrown its designed capacity of 500,000.
Image
Brasilia Bus Station
Image
Brasilia Bus Station
Image
With limited traffic lights, crossing a road in Brasilia is a nightmare for pedestrians.
Image
Hotel Sector
Image
Distant view of the Axis of Monuments

* * *

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 13 (2 OF 2) – FIRST IMPRESSION, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

It was about 9pm when we arrived at our hotel in Brasilia’s Sector Hotelerio Norte, a hotel zone in the north wing of the capital city. After check-in, we went out for a walk, hoping to find something to eat. Such a big contrast from the Pantanal! At Sector Hotelerio Norte, we were embraced by modern hotels and service apartments. We were quite surprised to find that other than hotels, nothing else really existed except a convenience store at a gas station and a busy McDonald’s restaurant. It looked like that McDonald’s was the only place that one could go outside of a hotel for a meal in the hotel zone.
We woke up the next morning and were delighted to find that the football stadium was not far away from our hotel. It reminded us of all the construction works we saw since we arrived in Brazil: airport expansion in Foz do Iguacu, Cuiaba and Brasilia, train line construction in Cuiaba, beautification of public space pretty much everywhere in Cuiaba and Brasilia, etc. The nation seemed to be gearing in full speed for the upcoming World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016.
ImageImage

* * *

Previous Destination: Pantanal, Brazil, reading from post Day 9.1

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought