Be­yond Paris and Lon­don

Some of the world’s lesser-vis­ited cap­i­tal cities are worth a visit, writes David Whit­ley.

The Press - Escape - - CAPITAL CITIES -

The pur­pose-built cap­i­tal was largely whipped up be­tween 1956 and 1960, and its main ap­peal lies in its show­case of mod­ernist ar­chi­tec­ture.

The city is laid out in the shape of a bird (or plane, depend­ing on how hard you squint), and the best place to see this is from the top of the TV Tower, which is in the mid­dle of Brasilia’s main thor­ough­fare.

The city’s hero, how­ever, is Os­car Niemeyer, the ar­chi­tect who de­signed most of Brasilia’s civic build­ings. These in­clude the Na­tional Mu­seum, Na­tional Congress and the Cathe­dral – but with all com­bined, there’s a strik­ing uni­for­mity.

Cul­tur­ally, you’ll get more from the sur­pris­ingly vi­brant con­tem­po­rary arts than the mu­sic. A once hap­pen­ing punk scene died off in the 1980s. Samba cen­tral, this is not – but it does have a dis­tinc­tive look not found any­where else on such a scale.


South Africa’s ad­min­is­tra­tive cap­i­tal (the ju­di­ciary sits in Bloem­fontein and the ex­ec­u­tive


Brasilia: Brazil.


Pre­to­ria: South Africa.

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