Thursday, June 17, 2010

July 17th

Between meetings, I had about an hour and a half to explore a bit of Brasilia. I thankfully had a wonderful driver who was very knowledgeable on Brasilia and spoke perfect English after living in the UK for 12 years. After struggling for days with my Portuguese, this was a welcome sound :)

I got see the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia. On 12th September 1958, the Cathedral’s cornerstone was laid. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia is an expression of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. In 1960, the Cathedral’s structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area and the 16 concrete columns were visible. These columns, having parabolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven. The Cathedral was dedicated on the 31st May, 1970.
Evangelists sculptures Four bronze sculptures 3 m high, representing the Evangelists, can be seen at the external square in the entrance of the Temple. These sculptures were made with the help of the sculptor Dante Croce, in 1968.
Inside the nave, three sculptures of angels are suspended by steel cables. The smallest angel has 2,22 m of length and weighs 100 kg. The medium one has 3,40 m of length and weighs 200 kg. The big one has 4,25 m of length and 300 kg weighs. The sculptures were made by Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the help of Dante Croce, in 1970.
Having an oval form, the Baptistery has its walls covered by a panel of ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão. If you stand at the end of one wall, you can talk into the wall and hear it on the other! The local architecture is completed by a bell tower. Its four big bells were donated by Spain. (see pictures)

I also saw the Congress/Senate building, Presidential residence, and the JK Bridge.

The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, is a steel and concrete bridge that crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília. It links the southern part of the lake, and St. Sebastian Paranoá the Pilot Plan (or the central and original part of the city), through the Monumental Axis. Inaugurated in December 15 of 2002, the structure of the bridge has a total length of crossing of 1,200 metres, a width of 24 meters with two carriagewayswith three lanes in each direction, two walkways on the sides to use cyclists and pedestrian 1.5 meters width and length total span of 720 meters.

It is named for Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, former president of Brazil, who in the late 1950s decided to build Brasília as the new capital of the country. It was designed by architect Alexandre Chan and structural engineer Mário Vila Verde.[2]

The main span structure has four supporting pillars submerged under Lake Paranoá, and the deck weight is supported by three 200-foot-tall (61 m) asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross diagonally. The decks are suspended by steel cables alternating at each side of the deck, interlacing in some kind of twisted plane (parabolic like). The entire structure has a total length of 1,200m.

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