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National Congress in Brasília
Photograph: Shutterstock

Take a tour of Brasília, Brazil’s majestic modernist masterpiece

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

To build an entire capital city from scratch in just four years would be impressive enough. For it to turn out so captivatingly beautiful is next-level genius. This week marks 60 years since Brasília, one of the world’s planned-city pioneers, was inaugurated as Brazil’s capital and administrative centre. Now a Unesco World Heritage Site, its constellation of masterpieces by modernist architects Oscar Niemeyer, João Filgueiras Lima and Icaro de Castro Mello has made it a draw for design nerds the world over.

To celebrate its diamond anniversary, here’s a virtual tour of the city’s most iconic landmarks – including the National Congress, Palace of Justice and Alvorada Palace, the official residence of the country’s president. All dramatic curves and majestic white stone, they present a utopian vision of what the future once looked like.

Museu Nacional da RepúblicaMuseu Nacional da República. Photograph: Antonio Salaverry /

Palace of Justice in BrasíliaPalace of Justice. Photograph: Marcelo Moryan /

The Cathedral of BrasíliaCathedral of Brasília. Photograph: Shutterstock

Inside the Cathedral of BrasíliaInside the Cathedral of Brasília. Photograph: Nick Photoworld /

Alvorada Palace in BrasíliaAlvorada Palace. Photograph: Wagner Santos de Almeida /

The National Congress in BrasíliaNational Congress. Photograph: ESB Professional /

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