Ermida Dom Bosco Ecological Park
Nature & Parks
“Ermida” means a place where a hermit lives. You won´t find one in this lovely park, but you will find a small chapel dedicated to the Italian priest and saint Giovanni Bosco, also called Dom Bosco. (There is another large, beautiful church dedicated to Dom Bosco, which is well worth visiting for its magnificent blue stained glass windows, at SEPS Quadra 702 - Asa Sul, Brasilia).
The chapel and the statue of the saint inside are meant to remember Dom Bosco´s prophetic dream in 1883 of a future city, more or less at a the location where today is Brasilia.
“Between 15 and 20 degrees of [southern] latitude there was a very wide and very long bosom [Italian: seno] which started from a point where a lake was formed. Then a voice said repeatedly: When the mines hidden in the middle of these mountains are excavated, there will appear a great civilization, the promised land where milk and honey flow. There will be inconceivable wealth.”
The chapel designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was inaugurated in 1957, at the beginning of construction of Brasilia, ans is the first brick-and-mortar building of Brasília. The Park that surrounds the Ermida is not large (131 hectare), but it is one of the loveliest places to view Brasília, the Paranoá lake and the typical Cerrado vegetation. You have an excellent view of the Esplanade of the Ministries, of the park around the presidential palace of the Brazilian presidents (Palácico da Alvorada) just across the lake, and of the Lago Norte peninsula.
Apart from the original chapel with the Dom Bosco statue, there is another, larger chapel with the Niemeyer´s characteristic architecture, an amphitheater, a long road-ramp to practice downhill skate- boarding, a small snack bar, and a wooden pier. There is also the “Casa da Cerradania” (no translation available), which is a space for environmental education activities and for photo and art exhibitions. The entire infrastructure of the park has recently been refurbished.
You can relax on the lake shore or on the pier, have a picknick, take a swim in the lake, or walk or ride a bike on the roads and trails that cross the park. You can study the diverse flora of the Cerrado, with many plants in flower at any time of the year. It is also a great vantage point to observe the fabulous Brasilia sunsets.