Situated on the Eastern part of the South American continent and bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil is a beautiful country and a fascinating melting pot of African, Indian, and Portuguese cultures. With a pristine coastline dotted with idyllic beaches and even more spectacular tourist attractions such as the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and the majestic Sugarloaf Mountain, it’s easy to understand why this charming place is fast becoming a vacation hotspot. When it comes to buildings and monuments, this picturesque Latin American country never disappoints, housing some of the world’s most revered architectural gems like Planalto and Alvorada Palaces, to name but a few. To get a better understanding of the country’s elating cultural heritage and diverse architectural ingenuity, check out this article for a listing of famous buildings in Brazil.
1. Museu Oscar Niemeyer
We certainly can’t talk of ultra-modern buildings in Brazil without talking about the country’s most revered architect -Oscar Niemeyer, and starting us off on this list, is undeniably one of his revered creations, Museu Oscar Niemeyer. Impressively perched on a large yellow 60 ft (18 m) pillar and colorfully painted, this awe-inspiring building resembles Robotic Cyclops overlooking a reflecting pool. A fascinating spectacle to the eye, this Brazilian gallery in Curitiba, Brazil, was inaugurated in 2002. Housing many of Niemeyer’s talented works, the museum’s main attraction is the balancing effect of its 2000 square feet (186 square meters) gallery, especially when it’s lit at night, making this captivating building a mind-boggling work of art.
Museu Oscar Niemeyer
Address: R. Mal. Hermes, 999 - Centro Cívico, Curitiba - PR, 80530-230, Brazil
Website: Museu Oscar Niemeyer
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
2. Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Brazil is a country that boasts a plethora of cultural and modern landmarks throughout, and Niterói Contemporary Art Museum is one of those popular structures that attract tourists to the beautiful city of Rio De Janeiro. Designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 1996, this space-age modernist structure stands elegantly on a cliffside, offering panoramic views of the small surrounding islands and the turquoise waters of the ocean below. Arguably one of the most iconic Brazilian landmarks and a remarkable visual treat to architecture lovers, the most prominent feature of this lovely attraction is its fascinating structure, which closely resembles a saucer.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Address: irante da Boa Viagem, s/nº - Boa Viagem, Niterói - RJ, 24210-390, Brazil
Website: Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
3. Cathedral of Brasília
Erected on the bustling streets of the country’s capital and sitting just a stone’s throw from the amazing Museu Nacional, Cathedral of Brasília is certainly a heavenly sight to behold. Yet another amazing creation from the prolific Brazilian architect -Oscar Niemeyer, this fascinating church resembles a crown-like hyperboloid structure and is arguably one of the city’s most famous landmarks, attracting a throng of tourists, who grace the establishment’s premises for its striking shape and the impressive stained glass ceiling. Serving as the seat of the archdiocese of Brasília, this beautiful church features a sinuous exterior with 16 curved concrete columns, each weighing 90 tonnes (90000 kg) and is capable of holding up to 4000 people.
Cathedral of Brasília
Address: Esplanada dos Ministérios lote 12 - Brasília, DF, 70050-000, Brazil
Website: Cathedral of Brasília
Opening hours: Sun, Tue - Fri: 8am - 6pm; Sat & Mon: 8am - 5pm
4. Edifício Itália
Designed by the acclaimed German-Brazilian architect -Franz Heep Edíficio Italia, which means the Italian building in Portuguese, is notably another stunning addition to the inspiring skyline of Sáo Paulo, Brazil. Located in the heart of the República District, this ultra-modern skyscraper measures a staggering height of 168 m (551 ft) with 46 floors, making it the third-largest tallest building in Brazil after Millennium Palace and Mirante Do Vale. Constructed between 1956 and 1965, this massive architectural wonder is home to the city’s best restaurants and bars like the remarkable Terraço Italia Restaurant.
Address: São Paulo, Brazil
Website: Edifício Itália
5. Edifício Copan
Located in the heart of the city of São Paulo and nesting just a hairsbreadth from Edifíco Italia, Edifíco Copan is an interestingly memorable and important building in Brazil. Known in English as Copan Building, this astounding structure was designed by the legendary Brazilian architect -Oscar Niemeyer back in 1951 to celebrate over 400 years of this bustling metropolis. A remarkable epitome of the modern Brazilian architecture, this magnificent S-shaped building was inaugurated way back in 1966 and now serves as a residential area housing about 1,160 apartments, which unfortunately are off-limits to tourists for obvious reasons. Measuring 118 m (388 ft) in height, you can, however, make your way to the rooftop and soak up the city’s magical skyline views.
Address: Downtown São Paulo, Brazil.
Website: Edifício Copan
6. Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro
Nestled in the heart of Rio’s lively city center, and resembling something close to a Mayan pyramid, except way more beautiful and futuristic, the metropolitan cathedral of Rio De Janeiro (Cathedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião do Rio De Janeiro) is a gorgeous cathedral that not only serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro but also pays homage to Saint Sebastian, who was the city’s patron saint. Designed by architect Edgar Fonseca, The “New Cathedral” as it’s referred to by many of the area residents, features a striking conical shape, towering up to 75 meters (246 ft), with an internal diameter of 96 meters (315 ft), and is one of the main reasons why the city is a popular tourist attraction.
Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro
Address: Av. Chile, 245 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-170, Brazil
Opening hours: 7am - 5pm (daily)
7. Amazon Theatre
Found stark amidst the Amazon forest in Brazil and evoking the grandeur of European Renaissance architecture, Amazon Theatre is an enchanting opera house in the city of Manaus. A beautiful three-storeyed treasure trove and a charming cultural landmark, this ravishing building plays host to the annually exciting Amazonas Opera Festival and is currently home to Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra. Designed by the talented Italian architect -Celestial Sacardiam, this unique opera house was inaugurated on 31 December 1896 and is a fascinating monument of the city’s heydey during its rubber boom era. With more than 120 years, the building’s allure is its magnificent dome that’s decorated with over 36,000 ceramic tiles, which are impressively painted in the colors of Brazil’s National Flag.
Address: Largo de São Sebastião - Centro, Manaus - AM, 69067-080, Brazil
Website: Amazon Theatre
Brazil is famously known for its talented soccer players, intoxicating samba festivals, and the serene Amazon rainforest. But did you also know that this beautiful country is home to some of the world’s most fascinating museums? Tucked away in the lush surroundings of Flamengo Park, in Rio De Janeiro’s Centro District, this elegant museum designed by architect Affonso Eduardo is a beautiful blend of rationalist architecture and its charming environment. Inaugurated in 1948, this modern art museum, as its name suggests, boasts the most comprehensive collections of Brazilian artwork and is one of the most significant cultural institutions in the country.
Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art Skip-the-Line Tour
Duration: 4 hours
9. Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
Last but not least, is yet another spectacular art museum gracing the busy streets of Brazil -the iconic Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand. Designed by the prolific Italian-born Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, this astounding art’s museum is in its own right a marveling work of art itself, as it appears to be floating from the ground. Inaugurated in 1968, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, this remarkable building is famous for its enchanting brutalist structure and modern Brazilian architecture.
Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
Address: Av. Paulista, 1578 - Bela Vista, São Paulo - SP, 01310-200, Brazil
Opening hours: Tue: 10am - 8pm; Wed - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Complementing the city’s dramatically beautiful landscape, Musem of Tomorrow is undeniably as futuristic as it sounds. Travel to the future when you set foot inside this stunning museum. Conveniently located adjacent to Plaza Mauá in the lively blare of Pièr Mauá, this astounding structure was designed and projected by the Spanish architect, engineer, and artist -Santiago Calatrava. Supported by Roberto Marinho Foundation, this eye-catching architectural marvel was successfully inaugurated on December 17, 2015, receiving about 25 thousand visitors in its first week of operation. A true icon to the local and cultural identity of the city of Rio De Janeiro, this opulent institution’s purpose is not only to be a museum of modern arts and sciences but also to educate its patrons about the dangers brought about by climate change and its consequential effect on the environment.
Museum of Tomorrow Admission Ticket (COVID-19 Prepared)
Duration: 2 to 5 hours
Brazil, an inspirational hub of cutting-edge architecture
Apart from boasting an idyllic 7,491 km (4,654 mi) coastline on the golden shores of the Atlantic ocean, Brazil also hosts a captivating abundance of picturesque sights and eye-popping structures that will certainly arouse your sense of adventure. And to revel more in the country’s brilliant architectural ingenuity, be sure to spare time and make stops at any of these famous buildings!
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