During our film tour of the best tourist attractions in the world we often come across groundbreaking architecture, but hardly ever do we find a whole city full of it. Brasilia, the purpose-built capital of Brazil, proved to be a nice exception.

Like Australia and the USA, Brazil placed it’s new capital (the old one was in Rio de Janeiro) at a strategic distance from the country’s populous coastal cities.

In fact, it’s likely that Canberra and Washington DC have inspired the spacious, straight-lined pedestrian hub that Brasília was given in the late 1950s. In all 3 cities, this hub connects the national monuments with the major civic buildings, centred on the seat of government.

From an artistic, filmmaker’s point of view, however, all we had here were big, white concrete buildings in between busy highways. How to capture the essence of a city without the colourful art, historic treasures and quirky cafés that give conventional capital cities so much atmosphere?

Fortunately, our cameraman Jon is a real artist and his love for grand designs shines through in the footage he brought back.

Our next challenge was compiling an attractive video script and the honour fell upon me. I wanted the script to mirror the enthusiasm and elegance that Oscar Niemeyer bestowed upon Brasilia, as the city’s main architect. His designs inspired me to write:

“The energy of Niemeyer’s creations comes pouring out of the Ministry of Justice, flows past the National Museum, and, comes right through the huge Itamaraty Palace.  Squint your eyes and you can almost see this energy spiral upwards in the bright halls of the National Theater. Finally, it manages to ignite the national pride in the Pantheon of the Fatherland and Freedom.”

I hope that, after watching the video, you agree that this sums it up beautifully.

View the Brasília travel guide.