On this day April 21, 1960

Brasília, a planned city primarily designed by architect and urban planner Lúcio Costa, was officially inaugurated, replacing Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil.

Brasília

Brasília

The city is a world reference for urban planning. The locating of residential buildings around expansive urban areas, of building the city around large avenues and dividing it into sectors, has sparked a debate and reflection on life in big cities in the 20th century.

The city’s planned design included specific areas for almost everything, including accommodation – Hotel Sectors North and South. However, new areas are now being developed as locations for hotels, such as the Hotels and Tourism Sector North, located on the shores of Lake Paranoá.

The city was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. In 1960, it formally became Brazil’s national capital.

When seen from above, the main planned part of the city’s shape resembles an airplane or a butterfly. The city is commonly referred to as Capital Federal, or simply BSB.

April 21 is a national holiday in Brazil to remember when Tiradentes was hanged in Rio de Janeiro, in the plaza today named Praça Tiradentes.

Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes was a leading member of the Brazilian seditious movement known as the Inconfidência Mineira whose aim was to shake off the Portuguese colonial power and create an independent Brazilian republic.

When the plan was discovered, Tiradentes was arrested, tried and executed. His body was quartered into several pieces. With his blood, a document was written declaring his memory infamous. His head was publicly displayed in Vila Rica. Pieces of his body were exposed in the cities between Vila Rica and Rio, in an attempt to scare the people who had listened to Tiradentes’ ideas about independence.

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