Rio de Janeiro
was established as the capital of Brazil
by the Portugese
when the country was their colony
. However, independent Brazil increasingly came to feel that it should create its own capital city. In 1956 President
Kubitschek de Oliveira was elected to office and he decided to give the country its new capital.
The noted architects
Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer were employed to plan and lay out the new city. A site was chosen deep in the interior, in a range of hills called the Serra Geral do Parana and work began.
was hacked down to make room for city streets, office blocks and housing areas. The name for the new city was declared to be Brasilia. It is probably the best-known example of modern town planning, having been started from untouched territory
. In some ways it is a wonder of modern
architecture, but in others it has failed to become a vibrant
, living city as was the old capital.