Cinelândia, Rio de Janeiro
CinelândiaBeyond Largo da Carioca Avenida Rio Branco continues to Cinelândia, one of the political and cultural centers of the city. The magnificent public buildings in this area were built in the first decade of the 20th century, after Rio de Janeiro became capital of Brazil.
Municipal ParkBetween the Cinelândia and Lapa districts, on Avenida Beira-Mar, is the Municipal Park (Passeio Público), an attractive 33,000sq.m/39,000sq.yds of open space. The park was designed by Mestre Valentim, along with the painter Leandro Joaquim and other artists. Notable features are the pavilions in the park, with paintings by Joaquim and sculpture by Valentim, the fine Baroque entrance, the stone staircase, the Caiman and Bird Fountains, two pyramids and bronze statues of Apollo, Mercury, Diana and Jupiter.
Nossa Senhora da Glório do Outeiro
Near the Parque do Flamengo is a picturesque little quarter, the Bairro da Glória, between the districts of Lapa, Santa Tereza, Laranjeiras and Flamengo. Here is the church of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro, on an octagonal ground-plan - the first church in Brazil to depart from the usual plan of a nave with or without aisles. Built in 1739, decorated with azulejos.
Museu da Glória
The Museu da Glória which is attached to the church contains some 2000 exhibits, including valuable, silver, jewels and sacred images. Near the church, in Rua da Glória, is a fountain of 1772.
National LibraryThe National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), in a neo-classical building (1910) on the east side of Avenida Rio Branco, is the largest and most important library in Brazil. Among its greatest treasures - many of them brought to Brazil by the Portuguese royal family in 1808 - are a Mainz Bible of 1462 and a first edition of Luís de Camões' "Os Lusíadas", the Portuguese national epic.
National Museum of Art
National Museum of ArtThe National Museum of Art (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes; 1908) is also on Avenida Rio Branco. Of particular importance are the Eliseu Visconti Gallery (Brazilian painting of the 19th and 20th centuries) and the Frans Post Gallery (pictures by North and South American artists and works of the Portuguese, French, Dutch, Flemish, Belgian, German and Spanish schools).
Municipal TheatreThe Municipal Theatre (Teatro Municipal; 1909), one of Rio's great landmarks, is modeled on the Paris Opéra. The entrance lobby has doors of crystal glass and a staircase of Carrara marble. The paintings on the curtain and the ceiling of the foyer are by Eliseu Visconti; others are by Rodolfo Amoedo. A notable feature is the tile-clad Assyrian Hall on the lower floor.
Museum of the Republic
The Palácio do Catete (Rua do Catete, in Flamengo Park), from 1897 to 1960 the seat of the President of the Republic, now houses the Museum of the Republic (Museu da República). This neo-classical mansion was built in 1858-66 for the Baron of Nova Friburgo. The room which attracts most attention is the one in which President Getúlio Vargas committed suicide.
Museum of Folk Art
The Museum of Folk Art (Museu de Arte Popular) has material from all over the country - ex-votos, Afro-Brazilian cult objects,domestic pottery, folk art, etc. The Museum also has a library and puts on frequent special exhibitions.
Palácio Pedro Ernesto
Palácio Pedro ErnestoThe Palácio Pedro Ernesto, also in Cinelândia, was built to house the Brazilian Parliament but is now occupied by the City Council. It has witnessed some of the most important political events in Rio, even after the transfer of the capital to Brasília.
Palácio Gustavo Capanema
Palácio Gustavo CapanemaThe Palácio Gustavo Capanema (named after the minister of education responsible for its construction) in Rua da Imprensa, a side street off Avenida Rio Branco, is one of the landmarks of modern architecture, designated by UNESCO as a world cultural monument. The building (1937-45) was designed by a team of architects led by Le Corbusier, with such leading Brazilian architects as Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. The mural paintings are by Cândido Portinari, the design of the grounds by Burle Marx.
Academy of Letters
The Brazilian Academy of Letters (Academia Brasileira de Letras) occupies a building of 1922 in Avenida Presidente Wilson modeled on the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
Parque do Flamengo
Parque do FlamengoTo the east of the Passeio Público are Avenidas Beira-Mar and Infante Dom Henrique, running along Flamengo Bay, much of which was reclaimed from the sea and laid out as Flamengo Park (Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes), also known as the Aterro (Landfill) do Flamengo. The park, traversed by wide avenues, links the central area of Rio with the southern districts of the city. Within the park are children's play areas, sports facilities, roller-skating rinks and runways for model aircraft. Here too is the Marina da Glória, with gardens designed by Burle Marx.
Museum of Modern Art
At the north end of the Parque do Flamengo is the Museum of Modern Art, which was one of the finest of its kind in Brazil until it was largely destroyed by fire in 1978; fortunately almost all the exhibits were removed to safety.
Museum Ship (Bauru)
The museum ship "Bauru", an American torpedo-boat destroyer which was incorporated in the Brazilian navy in 1944 is now moored in the Marina da Glória.
A striking monument in the Parque do Flamengo is the War Memorial (Monumento aos Mortos) to the dead of the Second World War, on a granite and concrete base, with the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On the lower floor is the mausoleum of the dead, and on the intermediate floor is an exhibition of material illustrating Brazil's part in the war.
The Palácio Guanabara or Palácio das Laranjeiras, formerly the residence of the Conde d'Eu and Princess Isabel and later of the President of the Republic (from Hermes da Fonseca to Getúlio Vargas) and now occupied by government offices, is in Rua Pinheiro Machado (reached from the Flamengo Park by way of Rua das Laranjeiras, which meets Rua Pinheiro Machado on Praça Del Prete).
Guinle Park, a small area of woodland with gardens and a children's playground, lies close to Rua Gago Coutinho, also in the Bairro das Laranjeiras (the "Orange-Trees" quarter).
Floriano Peixoto Monument
In the Passeio Público is a monument to Deodoro da Fonseca. On Praça Floriano (Cinelândia), a short distance away, is a 15m/50ft high monument to Floriano Peixoto.
Map of Rio de Janeiro Attractions