Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup Brazil city guide: Brasilia

BBC Brazil's Camilla Costa offers an insider's view of the 12 cities hosting matches in this year's Fifa World Cup tournament.

Brasilia

Overview

Image copyright Google

Brasilia, the capital, is located in the Brazilian Highlands in the centre of the country.

Image copyright Bruno Pinheiro
Image caption Brasilia was founded in 1960 as a new capital city

The city was designed by the late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and is divided into numbered blocks and sectors, which specialise in certain activities. There are areas for hotel accommodation, banking or foreign embassies, as well as a mansions sector, with large houses belonging to the city's most affluent residents.

Inside the aeroplane-shaped city centre, the architecture is striking and crime rates are relatively low. But the city's inequality is evident in its underdeveloped satellite cities, which are plagued with poverty and crime.

Venue

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Stadium Nacional Mane Garrincha. Capacity: 70,042

Named after a Brazilian football idol from the 1960s, the Stadium Nacional Mane Garrinchais is right in the city centre.

The stadium will host more games than any other, with seven matches in total being played there.

The building has been completely redesigned and constructed with sustainability in mind. It is expected become the first stadium in the world to be awarded platinum status from the US Green Building Council, which rewards sustainable construction.

However, since Brasilia is not particularly known for its football, critics say the stadium is set to become a white elephant after the tournament. Local authorities insist they will avoid that fate by renting the space out for concerts and other events.

Culture and cuisine

Image copyright Bruno Pinheiro
Image caption Pequi is used in dishes from chicken and fish to ice-cream

Although Candangos - those born in Brasilia - don't like to admit it, the city owes some of its personality to Goias, the state that surrounds it.

Goias' famous pequi - a little fruit with lots of flavour - is used by the area's cooks in rice and other dishes. However, pequi's unusual taste divides opinion.

As a souvenir of their stay, many visitors take home one of Brazilian painter and sculptor Athos Bulcao's colourful tiles, created in the 1960s as part of a series of modernist panels for the capital's most important buildings.

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