Sunday, 15 July 2018


On the plane. 

Last month we had a long anticipated holiday in Brasilia.  We are interested in architecture and this city has been a place that we have longed to visit. I was not expecting to see many textiles as the architecture was our focus. However, there were some lovely examples of hand craft which I would like to share with you.

Map of Brasilia.  We stayed at a hotel in the centre (number 4 in the blue area)
Our hotel was in the middle of the main area and had amazing views. It was just what we had hoped for. It was a hotel for business people and conferences.

Daytime view. The building in front is a shopping centre next to the bus station.

The  Palacio do Congresso Nacional is in the distance. At the end of  our guided tour of this magnificent building we were given postcards which we could send for free to anywhere in the world.

View at night showing the illuminated buildings. 

We visited the museum called the Memorial dos Povos Indigenos, another building by Oscar Niemeyer.

An interesting collection of indigenous craft can be seen at this museum. Pottery, basketry and other items were displayed but there was no information in English.

The basketry was gorgeous.

Here is a close up of one of the basketry carriers.

The museum building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and has a striking central area.

There was a small craft outlet which sells items made by the indigenous people and all profits go to them.  I bought a pair of ear rings make with coiled straw.

Straw earings

We stayed in the central area near the bus station, a very lively place. There are tourist hotels on the outskirts of Brasilia near the lake but we wanted to be in the centre. Brasilia is not fully geared for tourism as it is an administrative capital so postcards and other ephemera of holidays did not seem to be available. However, next to the TV tower there was a wonderful market open at weekends.

Torre de TV

The tower was being renovated but it was still possible to go up to the first level.  This was hosting a fascinating design exhibition. I just wish some of the items had been for sale.

The views were tremendous.

Yes I was really there!

The view from the other direction shows the market area.

The TV tower market used to be at the base of the tower. In 2011 it was relocated to its present position and purpose built accommodation was put in place. There are lots of food outlets as well as a range of local hand crafts.

It was interesting to see that the unofficial market also appears on Saturday mornings.

We were due to fly out on Saturday late afternoon so we walked up to the market early. This is definitely the place to go to see crafts of all kinds. But it was not just for visitors. Several shops sold furniture and two sold fitted kitchens.

These photographs will give you some idea of the range of crafts on sale.

Bags and jewelry.

This store sold musical instruments of all descriptions. An astonishing range of ways to make sound.

These chairs from recycled tyres were very comfortable.

Ceramics and jewellry

Hand made shoes of all types and colours. 

Inlay wood designs

The work on this stall was beautiful. We only took hand luggage so anything we bought had to be small and light. We purchased a set of small pickle forks in different woods.

Some larger items were also for sale!

And of course some textiles.

Friendship bracelets were everywhere. I bought a couple as a reminder of this amazing place. I had to have one in the colours of Brasil.

While we were in Brasilia, World Cup matches were being played.  Here is a picture of a normal day and the traffic.  On Friday morning Brasil were playing a match against Costa Rica.  All the Government offices were closed for that morning.  What a difference! It was like a ghost town. We saw very few people but could here lots of cheers every time Brasil scored.  At the end of the match there was an almighty explosion of noise from cheers and fireworks. Brasil won 2:0.

A normal work day.

The tall buildings in the background are some of the Ministry buildings.

Martin crossing an empty road

A deserted road on Friday morning when everyone was watching the football on television.

We had a wonderful four days.  There was so much to see and there are still some further buildings which we would love to investigate. We will have to go back.

Susan J Foulkes July 2018

I thought that I would add a few more photographs of this wonderful city. The shapes of the buildings and interiors are an inspiration.
Here is a view of the cathedral interior.  The stained glass and the sweeping shapes are awe inspiring;.

Interior of the cathedral with flying angels. 
Here are two incredibly photogenic staircases.  Again the sweeping flow of the stairs make a dramatic statement in the open space.
Stairs in the Itarmarty Palace

Stairs in the theatre. 

Unfortunately the theatre is closed to the public apart from the entrance foyer.  The stairs and the indoor garden are breathtaking.

The theatre building is in the form of a truncated pyramid.  On two of the outer walls there is a sculpture called The Sun has Fun.

The Sun has Fun
It was particularly effective and we went back several times to see the different shadows on the walls.

Room divider

This is a room divider in the Itarmarty palace.  I thought that this would be an inspiration for a weave pattern.  I will have to do some work on this idea.

I loved my holiday in Brasilia and would love to go back.

Susan J Foulkes  September 2018

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the beauty of this city. The architecture really was worth seeing. The Memorial dos Povos Indigenos is wonderful for both the building and the exhibits you shared.
    Pam Skillman


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