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Brasilia seen by Jean-Paul Delfino

BrasiliaFor four centuries and a half, Brazil simply developed towns situated on the Atlantic sea-front. That was good enough for trading with the rest of the world and, except for the Minas Gerais, rare were the cities that dared extend inland. In 1956, a young President was elected. His name is Juscelinho Kubitschek. According to him, Brazil should be able to make a fifty years’ progress in five years. How did he expect to make it happen? By creating a new capital city. In the event, Rio de Janeiro would lose its status of first town of Brazil, but would gain a nickname: Belacap, the beautiful.

No sooner in office, Kubitschek set to work and selected the projects of Oscar Niemeyer and Luco Costa, two young architects. The new capital city must be modern, futuristic. Its style had to be surprising and the job must be finished in record time. No roads leading to that mysterious place? No problem: the first sacks of cement were to be flown over by Douglas C47 Brazilian military planes! In about a thousand days, the first monuments started to soar out of the ground. On the 21st April 1960, a new capital city was born and was named Brasilia.

Thus, for more than half a century now, Brasilia has been the capital of the country, a strange fruit made of concrete, grown out of a young President’s imagination. From the Convention Hall to the most futuristic part of the capital, and from the Three Arches Bridge named after Brasilia’s creator, to Nossa Senhora de Fatima, the city remains an emblematic site in this gigantic country. Here, you are not confronted with tropical exoticism, but find yourself right at the heart of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The impossible dream come true made possible by a nation’s will to conquer its own country.

Written by : © Jean-Paul Delfino (This text is subject to copyrights protection in accordance with existing laws)

Other texts by Jean-Paul Delfino are available here: Travel Diaries - Jean-Paul Delfino

Jean-Paul Delfino is a French writer and screenwriter so passionate about Brazil that he has taken on the writing of a major novel fresco entitled "Suite brésilienne" which covers three centuries of great Brazilian history.

Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Delfino