Beyond the Plano Piloto
Should you have more time at your disposal, there are several interesting attractions located off the main axes of the Plano Piloto. They are linked to Brasília’s notorious mystical element, which adds an interesting counterpoint to its culture of political wheeling and dealing.
The city’s mysticism stems from the vision that came to an Italian priest named Dom João Bosco, in 1883, of a new civilization that would rise up around a lake situated between the 15th and 20th parallels. Kubitschek was a big Bosco devotee, and when his gleaming city of the future rose up (somewhat miraculously) on the shores of an artificial lake, it wasn’t long before various cults and New Age groups claimed the area as their utopia.
Santuário Dom Bosco
Often eclipsed by the Catedral Metropolitano, the Santuário Dom Bosco (W-3 Sul, ad. 702, Bl. B, tel. 61/3223-6542, www.santuariodombosco.com.br, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 7 a.m.–noon and 2–8 p.m. Sun.) is equally splendid. The slender concrete columns of its box-like shell function as frames for the immense floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows whose intricate mosaic motifs are rendered in 12 tones of blue.
During the day, the effects of the sun’s rays shining through the azure glass are quite dazzling. At night, an equally impressive spectacle is provided by the gargantuan central chandelier fashioned out of 7,400 individual crystals of Murano glass.
Templo da Boa Vontade
Located 8 kilometers (5 miles) south of the Eixo Monumental, the Templo da Boa Vontade (SGAS, 915, Lt. 75/6, tel. 61/3245-1070, www.tbv.com.br, temple open 24 hours daily, Egyptian room and gallery open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily) is a pyramid topped with an enormous 21-kilogram (46-pound) crystal. Aside from its visual splendor, it is reputed to be the largest crystal rock in the world capable of attracting pure energy.
Created by the Legião da Boa Vontade (Goodwill Legion) with the objective of promoting peace and unity among “Earthly and Celestial Beings of all races, philosophies, religious and political creeds, and even atheists and materialists,” the temple includes a meditation space, an art gallery, a sumptuously outfitted Egyptian Room, and a sacred fountain whose healing natural waters receive the energies of the giant crystal.
To get here, take the 105 or 107 bus from the rodoviária.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition