Although inaugurated on the 22nd of April 1960, the preparation of Brasilia to become the capital of Brazil had been long; dating two hundred years ago.
During the first half of the 18th century, Brazil’s leaders have had an interest in having the country’s capital in an area that’s more interior and less exposed to the raids of the maritime. This is because the first two capitals of Brazil, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro, were constructed near the coast. It was in 1823 when José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva, among the mentors of the country’s independence, proposed to the General Assembly the moving of the capital city, with Brasilia as the suggested name. This, however, was not enacted because the emperor that time had the assembly dissolved.
In 1891 the proposal was brought up again and this time, 14,400 sq.km. the area was reserved for the proposed capital. It was the Commission for the New Federal Capital who chose Brasilia’s spot in 1955.
The construction of Brasilia kicked off in 1956 headed by Oscar Niemeyer, who was then a young architect. The following year, Lúcio Costa, an urbanist, won the contest for the new capital’s design. His winning work was better known as the Plano Piloto or the Pilot Plan. Juscelino Kubitschek, the elected president that time, considered Brasilia his “darling” that he did not hesitate to allocate both human and financial resources for it.
Today, the city has grown to be one of South Brazil’s liveliest and wealthiest cities.