December 16, 2013
0406, 0407 & 0906 BRAZIL (Federal District) - Brasilia (UNESCO WHS)
I received the first postcard from this post on December 5 (even if the postmark is from December 4), the day that has passed away, at the age of almost 105 years, the architect Oscar Niemeyer, one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture, best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, among which is the one from the first picture, housing the National Congress. In the master's obituary, The Economist wrote: "More than any other individual, Oscar Niemeyer could claim to have created Brazil's image as a self-consciously modern country. Brazil's most famous architect turned the functionalism of Le Corbusier into a sensual minimalism that was at once daring and restrained. His motto was not that form follows function but that form follows beauty. Like the functionalists he worked in reinforced concrete, but found poetry in it. He rejected right angles in favour of the liberated, sensual curves found in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman - shapes displayed in the stunning setting and bright, clear sunlight of his home city, Rio de Janeiro."
In September 1956, soon after he assumed the Brazilian presidency, Juscelino Kubitschek visited Niemeyer and spoke to the architect about his most audacious scheme: "I am going to build a new capital for this country and I want you to help me […] Oscar, this time we are going to build the capital of Brazil." Niemeyer organized a competition for the lay-out of the new capital, and the winner was the project of his master and great friend, Lúcio Costa. Following, Lúcio designed the plan of the city, and Niemeyer the buildings, such as the residence of the President (Palácio da Alvorada), the House of the deputy, the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, diverse ministries, and residential buildings.
Built ex nihilo in only four years, between 1956 and 1960, in the Brazilian Highlands, in the barren center of the country, at hundreds of kilometers from any major city, Brasilia benefited from new concepts of city planning: streets without transit, buildings floating off the ground supported by columns and allowing the space underneath to be free and integrated with nature. Initially, all the city's apartments were owned by the government and rented to its employees, so that the ministers and common laborers have shared the same building. Of course, the next presidents changed this concept.
The National Congress building (the first postcard), located in the middle of the Monumental Axis, the main avenue in Brasília, consists of two semi-spheres (the left one is the seat of the Senate, and the right one is the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies), which have between them two vertical office towers. The design suggests a balance, with two opposing sides intersected by a symbol of equality. The Congress also occupies other surrounding office buildings, some of them interconnected by a tunnel.
The JK Memorial (the second postcard) is a museum opened on September 12, 1981 and dedicated to Juscelino Kubitschek, as I say, the founder of the city of Brasilia. On site are the body of JK, many belongings as his personal library, and photos of him as both his wife Sarah. Featuring works designed by Athos in the outdoor area, a stained glass window designed by artist Marianne Peretti on the vault and a 4.5m sculpture authorship of Honorius Peçanha.
In the third postcard is the Monument to the Candango, known also as Os Guerreiros (The Warriors), a work in bronze of the Italian Brazilian sculptor Bruno Giorgi. It is the centerpiece of Brazil's governmental plaza, Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Plaza), and was erected to pay homage to the thousands of workers who built Brasilia, whose nickname were "candango". The sculpture has become the symbol of the city.
Because it is "a landmark in the history of town planning", Brasilia was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Also, with a population of about 2,562,963 (2008), Brasilia is the largest city in the world that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century.
About the stamps
On the second postcard
The stamp was issued on 23 March, 2011 to commemorate the 100th birthday of UPAEP (Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal), an organization that has striven to maintain the union of its member countries, as well as using postal stamps to record and publicize the true, ongoing history of postal services. In the foreground is the logo commemorating the centenary, with the slogan 100 años uniendo culturas (100 years of uniting cultures). In the background, there is an image of the American Continent, part of Africa and Europe, and the colors that are common to the flags of the countries that make up the Union: red, green, yellow and blue.
On the third postcard
The first stamp, depicting a trumpet, is part of a series of ten, issued in 2002.
The second stamp, designed by Fernando Lopes, was issued on November 10, 2012, to commemorate The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Jorge Amado (1912-2001), the famous Brazilian writer.
Oscar Niemeyer - Wikipedia
Brasilia - Wikipedia
Oscar Niemeyer's obituary - The Economist
Memorial JK - Wikipedia
2011 Stamps of Brazil 04 - Kalife's stamp collection
sender 1: Elaine Valeria (direct swap)
sent from São Paulo (São Paulo / Brazil), on 12.11.2012
photo: Aparecido Pinto
sender 2: Cinara Prass (direct swap)
sent from Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul / Brazil), on 03.04.2012
photo: Maria Maximina
sender 3: Ândrea Andrade (direct swap)
sent from São Carlos (São Paulo / Brazil), on 18.11.2013