Palácio do Planalto
Brasília Travel info
Palácio do Planalto is the seat of the Brazilian Government.
The name means "Palace of the Plateau". Brasilia was built on the Central Brazilian Plateau, a large area which covers a few States in central Brazil. Often times, Brasilia is referred to as "o Planalto".
The main working office of the President of the Republic is in the Palácio do Planalto. The President and his family, however, do not live in this palace; the official residence of the President is the Palácio da Alvorada.
Besides the President, a few high advisors also have offices in the Planalto, including the vice-President and the Chief of Staff (one of the most influential Ministers in Brazil); the other Ministries are laid along the Esplanada dos Ministérios.
The Palace is open to visitations on Sundays only, from 9:30 am to 1 pm. The tours last 20 minutes. Check out this virtual tour around the Palácio do Planalto.
It is difficult to see the President. Only in special occasions does the President walk up or down the ramp in the front of the Palace. More often, he (or she) enters the Palace through the garage door.
Below, some images of the Palácio do Planalto.
The Presidency is guarded by a special regiment which dates back to the Independence War epoch, called Dragões da Independência (Dragons of Independence). The relief of the guard occurs every two hours, from 8 am to 6 pm.
The photo in the middle shows the columns which hold the structure. Oscar Niemeyer wanted the columns to be as slim as possible, passing the idea that the Palace is just touching the floor.
The middle photo shows also the Parlatório, built to be a place from where the President would speech to the population. Nowadays, it is used only when a new President takes office.