Distrito Federal

The Federal District of Brazil is not a state, but stands apart as a district, reserved for Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia. As such, it cannot be divided into municipalities, but is split into 29 administrative regions. It is situated in the Central Plateau of this South American country. Brasilia is the home of the three branches of the Federal Government; namely the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches. The Federal District of Brazil covers a total square kilometre area of 5 802, which is just over 2 200 square miles, and boasts a population of more than 2.4 million people. Although often understood to refer to one place, Brasilia and the Federal District are, in fact, separate entities as the Federal District comprises of places like Taguatinga and Guara in addition to Brasilia.

The history of the Federal District of Brazil is relatively young, since it is not a significant geographical area, but an administrative one. In April of 1960, the civil government was transferred from Catete Palace in Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia. Today, Rio is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro State.

Image of the Cathedral of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

Cathedral of Brasilia, in the capital of Brazil.

The government transferred some of its federal employees to the new capital, making up a large part of the population. Other major inhabitants of the Federal District included Candango workers, who were largely responsible for building Brasilia.

Today, the capital city, Brasilia, is a very structured one. Streets are not named but are assigned letters and numbers according to blocs and sectors. There are residential areas as well as commercial ones, and the Federal District is amply equipped with the necessary infrastructure to sustain its community. Due to overpopulation in Brasilia, many are being forced to move further afield. Almost 100% of the Brasilian residents stay in the urban epicentre.

Winter is this area’s dry season and is characterised by overwhelming humidity. This period lasts for half the year, as the Federal District of Brazil only has two main seasons (winter and summer).

Because of the dry conditions, savannah grasslands form the most common type of vegetation in the area. In 1987, Brasilia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Federal District remains one of the architectural gems of South America. This is as a result of President Juscelino Kubitschek who, in 1956, asked the local architects to come up with innovative and creative projects for the new capital. The result continues to characterise the area to this day.

Significantly, Brasilia will be one of the official Host Cities™ for the 2015 FIFA World Cup™.

Visitors to the Federal District of Brazil should visit the following popular tourist attractions:

• The City Park (Parque da Cidade) – over four million square metres to explore, including sports courts, racing kart track, playgrounds, walking trails and a horse track.
• Three Powers Square (Praça dos Três Poderes).
• The Brasilia Music Festival.

Here is the Distrito Federal Government web site: http://www.df.gov.br/

Imafe of The Brazilian National Congress, located in Brasilia, was designed by the world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer.

The Brazilian National Congress, located in Brasilia, was designed by the world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer.





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