The Federal District (Distrito Federal) is one of 27federative units of Brazil. Located in the Central Plateau of the Brazilian Highlands, the Federal District is divided into 31 administrative regions, and contains the Brazilian capital city, Brasília, which is also the seat of government of the Federal District. The capital — the seat of the three branches of the federal government of Brazil (legislative,executive and the judiciary) — is the main attraction of this dry area, whose climate has only two seasons. During the dry season (winter), the humidity can reach critical levels, mainly in the peak hours of the hottest days. The artificial Paranoá Lake, with almost 40 km2 (15 sq mi) and 500 million cubic metres (410,000 acre·ft) of water, was built to minimize the severe dry, climatic conditions of winter in the Cerrado vegetation.
Location of Federal District in Brazil
The capital of Brazil was transferred from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília on April 21, 1960, which its new territory was then split off from Goiás. After the transfer, the old Federal District (1891-1960) became the Guanabara State(Estado da Guanabara), which existed from 1960 until 1975 when Guanabara State and Rio de Janeiro State(Estado do Rio de Janeiro) merged and assumed the name Rio de Janeiro State, having as capital the city of Rio de Janeiro.
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 Axis South, but there are secondary exits that lead to other areas in the city's south wing.
Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, it was inaugurated in 1970. Its shape is circular horizontally and structured around 16 curved pillars, forming a crown filled with futuristic and/or spatial stained-glass works in a triangular shape. The pillars evoke reversed praying hands that deconstruct the gothic traditional church window pattern, but conserves the triangular vaginal shape of the stained-glasses. The curves present in many of Niemeyer's works pay homage to the beautifully built bodies of Brazilian women.
The stained-glasses were designed by Marianne Peretti. Their disposition ensures natural lighting into the aisle, which was 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 Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, representing the stages of the Passion of Christ, and paintings by Athos Bulcão. The Cathedral is located in the Eixo Monumental mall, at the entry to the Esplanada dos Ministerios, or Ministries Sector.
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 (Pantheon of the Fatherland), 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 giant Brazilian national flag 286 square meters (3,080 sq ft) is supported by a triangular black 100-meter (330 ft) and high pole. It is located at the end of the Esplanada dos Ministerios.
The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 92.5%, followed by the industrial sector at 7.1%. Agriculturerepresents 0.4% of GDP (2004). Federal District exports: soybean 77.1% and gold 16.4% (2002). The Federal District's share of the Brazilian economy is 3.7% as of 2005.
Brasília International Airport is the third largest in Brazil in terms of passenger movement. Because of its strategic location it is considered a civil aviation hub for the rest of the country. This makes for a large number of takeoffs and landings and it is not unusual for flights to have to wait in the holding pattern to land. Following the airport's master plan, Infraero built a second runway in 2005. In 2003, the fourth phase of the passenger terminal expansion was completed. It raised its capacity to 7.4 million passengers a year. The third floor of the main building, with 12 thousand square meters, has a panoramic deck, a food court, shops, fourmovie theaters with total capacity of 500 people, and space for exhibitions. There are a total of 136 shop spots at the Brasília Airport.
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. In August 2005, it hosted the 2nd stage of the Brazilian Hang Gliding Championship.
Brasília is one of the 12 cities to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, to take place in the country.