Brasilia is the capital and administrative center of the South American state of Brazil. This city with modern architecture and many attractions is located in the central part of the country. Although it was founded in the middle of the twentieth century, the idea of creating a new capital originated much earlier.
The first capitals of Brazil
Throughout its history, Brazil has changed its capital twice. In 1549, after the formation of the Portuguese colonies in South America, the city of El Salvador became the capital. It was not only the center of government, but also an important trading port. The export of produced sugar and the import of slaves imported from Africa passed through it, so the region prospered economically.
In 1763, Rio de Janeiro, located south of El Salvador, became the new capital of Brazil. This was due to the discovery of natural gold deposits and the inflow of capital to the southeastern regions of the country. Since then, the city has developed rapidly as an important industrial and commercial center.
Important reasons for founding a new capital
However, economic advantages were not the only criteria that the capital had to meet. Located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro, it was vulnerable to naval attacks that could not only devastate the city, but also disrupt the work of the government located there. The officials considered it expedient to move the capital to the inner regions of the state in order to eliminate the potential danger.
The second most important reason for deciding on a new capital was the desire to give an opportunity to develop the central regions of the country. While most of Brazil's population and economic resources were concentrated along the coast, vast tracts of land were empty in the hinterland. Placing the capital in the center would give impetus to the movement of finance, population migration, industrial development and the construction of roads connecting different regions of the country.
Stages of construction of the city of Brasilia
The plan for the construction of the inner capital was conceived in 1823 by statesman Jose Bonifacio, adviser to Emperor Pedro I. He even gave the future city a name - Brasilia. Bonifacio presented his plan to the Brazilian General Assembly, but at that time the bill was not passed.
In 1891, the first Brazilian Constitution was issued, which officially determined that a new capital would be built near the center, and in 1894 a land plot was reserved for it. Construction of the city began in 1956 and lasted only 41 months, thanks to the round-the-clock work of a large number of workers from all over Brazil.
On April 21, 1960, the capital officially moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia. When viewed from above, the shape of the city resembles a flying bird or a plane. According to the construction plan, the body of the aircraft will form the government and administrative buildings, and the residential and commercial areas will form the wings.
It was originally planned that the city would be home to government agencies and personnel. However, many of the newly arrived workers did not want to return home, seeing in the new place opportunities for a better life. They could not settle in the houses that they built, so villages quickly grew outside the city, eventually turning into satellite cities of Brasilia. Agriculture and cattle breeding have become an integral part of the region.
Today the population of Brasilia has more than 2.5 million inhabitants. As the first capital in the world built according to modern urban planning standards, Brasilia is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.