corresponds to the old part of the city and is referred to as
"Cidade" (Portuguese word for city) or "Centro"
(Downtown). Carioca, Cinelândia, Glória, Lapa and
others are the main districts in the downtown area, where major
Brazilian and international companies keep their offices.
theater, inaugurated on July 14, 1909, was inspired in the building
of the Opéra Charles Garnier in Paris. We can see both
in the interior and exterior of the theater, some beautiful works
of arts like sculptures and paintings by famous Brazilian artists
like the brothers Rodolfo and Henrique Bernadelli, Rodolfo Amoêdo
and Eliseu Visconti. In the lower level of the theater we find
the Assyrius Room, a former cabaret and today a restaurant.
to the theater is the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional)
and the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museu Nacional de Belas
Artes - MNBA). The
archives of the National Library were brought from Portugal by
Dom João VI in 1808, when he left Lisbon taking refugee
in Brazil, and started to constitute a public library in 1814,
becoming a patrimony of Brazil after its independence from Portugal,
the National Library started to occupy the building where it
is located today, projected and especially constructed for this
purpose by the engineer Marcelino de Souza Aguiar. There are
about 8.000.000 works in the library and some rarities like the
first edition of the famous Lusíadas by Camões,
the first editions of Mozart's scores, the original Carlos Gomes
scores (one of the greatest Brazilian composers), two 15th-century
bibles, New testaments from the 11th and 12th centuries, and
Museum of Fine Arts (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes - MNBA), located
in an impressive French Renaissance style building across from
the Municipal Theater, was inaugurated in 1938, by president
Getúlio Vargas and is the home of a large collection of
Brazilian and international paintings. It is installed in the
former building of the National School of Fine Arts, created
by Dom João VI in the 19th century.
of the Museum is the acquisition, conservation and spreading
of works of art which evidence the evolution of the Brazilian
and foreign artistic production. The museum has more than 14.000
works of art, including Brazilian and foreign sculptures, drawings,
engravings and a significant painting collection. The Brazilian
painting collection of the Museum has approximately 2.200 works,
among them, paintings by Victor Meirelles, Pedro Américo,
Almeida Júnior, Belmiro de Almeida, Rodolfo Amoêdo,
Henrique Bernardelli, Eliseu Visconti, Zeferino da Costa and
others. The foreign collection consists of about 800 works of
art, comprising the Italian painting of the 16th, 17th and 18th
centuries and the French and Dutch painting from the 16th century
onwards and an interesting African collection. The foreign collection
includes works of the French Louis Eugène Boudin, the
Dutch Frans Post, the Italians Gianbattista Gaulli - " Il
Baciccia ", Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Francesco Guardi,
and others. The Brazilian drawings collection is one of the largest,
with more than 4.000 works, including artists like Rodofo Amoêdo,
Victor Meirelles and the brothers Henrique and Rodolfo Berndelli
among others. In addition to the permanent collection, this museum
has been the stage for major exhibitions in Rio lately, including
Rodin, Miró and Dali.
Arches (Arcos da Lapa), in the past...
the present days.
of the Lapa Arches, a very beautiful 64 meter-high and 270 meter-length-structure
in downtown Rio, began in the first half of the 18th century.
in the Largo da Lapa Square,the center of Rios turn-of-the-century
nightlife, the Lapa Arches hold their place in history. The structure,
a former aqueduct, containing 42 arches in two tiers was idealized
with the purpose of supplying the city with water, carrying water
from the Santa Teresa hill to the Santo Antônio hill.
the city transportation company took over the aqueduct, which
was abandoned, and converted it to a viaduct, laying trolley
tracks across its length. Today they are still used for transportation.
A cable car on its top carries passengers from the Carioca Station
in downtown to Santa Teresa and vice-versa. Santa Teresa is an
artistic community with many museus, art studios and cultural
centers. There is a row of houses from the beginning of the 20th
century, with around 50 ateliers where more than 80 artists work
and who open their doors to the public to show works of art that
vary from the classic to the contemporary.
beautiful buildings, churches and other constructions of the
19th century and early 1900's, like the Municipal Theater, the
National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Library, the Candelária
Church, the Lapa Arches, and many others are concentrated in