The Federal District (Portuguese: Distrito Federal ) is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, the Distrito Federal is divided in 19 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main attraction of this dry area and climate with only two seasons. During the dry season, the humidity can reach critical levels, mainly in the peak hours of the hottest days. The artificial lake of Paranoá, with almost 40 km² and 500 million m³ of water, was built exactly to minimize the severe climatic conditions of the winter. The region also attracts místicos and in its surroundings you find many temples of different religions.
Originally, the majority of the population consisted of local workers who built the capital (called "Candangos") and federal government employees who were transferred to the new capital, Brasília. The capital is a thoroughly planned city with designated areas for residence, business, schools etc. No streets have names, but are identified instead by letters and numbers arranged in a geographical system. Originally built for up to one million inhabitants, the city has recently grown way past this number. Due to its complex organization, the growth of the city itself has been slow. This has forced many to settle in neighboring cities around Brasília, which now house a significant percentage of the population of the Distrito Federal.
According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 2,393,000 people residing in the Brazilian Federal District. The population density was 410.9 inh./km².
The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 1,160,605 Pardo (Brown) people (48.5%), 1,052,920 White people (44.0%), 157,000 Black people (6.6%), 21,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.9%).
Located in Brasília, the “Parque da Cidade” ("City Park”), which is named after the wife of Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek, extends over four million square meters. It includes landscape works of Burle Marx, and wall tiles that decorate restrooms in the Park designed by Athos Bulcão. Equipped with sports courts, a horse track, a racing kart track, skate tracks, playgrounds for children, bicycle tracks and trails for walks and jogging, the City Park attracts hundreds of people everyday, specially on weekends. The Park’s main entrance is located in the Monumental Axle South, but there are secondary exits that lead to other areas in the city’s South Wing.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, it was inaugurated in 1970. Its shape is rounded, and structured around 16 curved pillars filled with beautiful stained glass works, designed by Marianne Peretti – their disposition ensures natural lighting into the aisle, built below street level. Around the church, in the outside area, visitors can see Alfredo Ceschiatti’s sculptures – the four evangelists – and inside, suspended angels. There are also paintings by Di Cavalcanti, representing the stages of the Passion of Christ, and paintings by Athos Bulcão. The Cathedral is located in the Monumental Axle, at the entry of the Ministries Plateau.
The “Three Powers Square”
Praça dos Três Poderes concentrates some of the most important and significant buildings in the work and career of Oscar Niemeyer – the Planalto Palace, headquarters of Brazilian Presidency; the National Congress, hosting the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate; and the Higher Courts of Justice. The Square also hosts: the “Panteão da Pátria” (the Fatherland Banner), the Lúcio Costa Space and three important sculptures – “Pombal”, by Niemeyer; “Justice”, by Alfredo Ceschiatti; and “Os Candangos”, by Bruno Giorgi. In the central plaza a National Banner with 286 square meters is supported by a 100-meter high pole. It is located at the end of the Ministries Plateau.
Share of the Brazilian economy: 3.7% (2005).
Brasília Metro is the metro system of Distrito Federal. It is operated by Metrô-DF (Companhia do Metropolitano do Distrito Federal). and was opened in 2001. The system has ten stations on two lines, in operation from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM, Mondays to Fridays and covering most of the metropolitan area. Its main problem is the sheer distance between stations, making it a small component of the transit system of the Distrito Federal, where a dysfunctional bus network is still predominant. The city of Águas Claras is well served by the subway, making it one of the fastest-growing areas of the Distrito Federal.
Brasília is known as a departing point for the practice of free flying sports, a sport that may be practiced with Hang Gliding or Paragliding wings. Practitioners of such sports reveal that, because of the city’s dry weather, the city offers strong thermal winds and great “cloud-streets” – which is also the name for a manoeuvre quite appreciated by practitioners. The national capital hosted the 14th Hang Gliding World Championship – one of the categories of free flying – in 2003. And in 2005, from August 21st to 27th, it will host the 2nd stage of the Brazilian Hang Gliding Championship.
Brasília is one of the 18 remaining candidates to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, to take place in the country.