Rio de Janeiro Things to Do Tips by Willettsworld Top 5 Page for this destination
Rio de Janeiro Things to Do: 1,141 reviews and 1,751 photos
Opened in 1987, the Historical Army Museum within the Forte de Copacabana exhibits key military personalities from Brazil's history. Information about the objects on display, mannequins, military medals and furniture are provided by a bilingual multi-media system in a climate-controlled environment. The scenes take you from the Colonial/Empire times through to Brazil in the Second World War. More pictures can be found in one of my travelogues.
Admission is included in the price for visiting the fort.
Open: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.
This Evangelical cathedral is located to the west of the Santo Antonio Church and Monastery. It looks pretty modern inside and out. It does have a website which somehow shows it in a picture without the huge skyscrapper behind it. Either the building behind it was built since the picture was taken or someone has airbrushed it out is up to you to decide!
Address: Rua Silva Jardim, 23
Built on the eve of World War I in 1914 by the German arms-maker Krupp, Copacabana Fort boasts walls of reinforced concrete 12m (39 ft.) thick. They protect a whacking great cannon (305mm) that could fire a deadly shell 23km (14 miles) out to sea. The army has done an excellent job presenting the interior as it was when it was a working bastion. One of the first things you see as you enter is the commander's quarters, preserved pretty much as it was in 1930 when it was used to lock up President Washington Luis after a bloody coup. Other rooms contain then-state-of-the-art instruments (lots of brass wheels and finely scaled calipers) for targeting and aiming the great guns. And down in the very bowels of the fort the cannon are still in place. Best of all, the bored soldiers guarding the place never leave the gate, so you're free to touch, fiddle, and play as much as you want. Twirl the knobs on the great cannon until its muzzle points towards your hotel, trundle a shell over from the magazine via the overhead conveyer belt, stuff it in, and let fly. (Actually the gun probably doesn't fire, but you can certainly have fun pretending). More pictures can be found in one of my travelogues.
Open: Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Admission R$2.
Address: Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco 1
Directions: Copacabana, Zona Sul
This is the city's main fire station, hence its red colour. Its certainly one of the most impressive that I've ever seen. I think it was built in 1855 as there's a plaque on the wall commemerating its centenary in 1955. It is located on the southern side of Campo de Santana.
Address: Rua Visconde do Rio Branco
With an area of around 150,000 square meters, the Campo de Santana is the largest green area in downtown Rio. It had its construction requested by Dom Pedro II and was inaugurated in 1890. The English style garden was developed by French landscaper Auguste Francois Marie Glaziou. The park was the scene, on the 7th September 1822, of the proclamation of Brazil's independance from Portugal by Emperor Dom Pedro I.
This church was started in 1700 and completed in 1725. In 1737, without the knowledge of the Brotherhood, the See of the City was transferred to the Church of the Rosary which conferred to it the status of a cathedral but directly meddled in its activities. Bickering ensued until the Prince Regent, in 1808, transferred the See to the ancient church. The facade of the church was redesigned around the 19th century although the portico was kept. The interior is very plan due to a fire in 1967.
Address: Rua Urugaiana, Centro
This church and monastery are located on top of a small hill surrounded by Rio's modern skyscrappers and kind of feel out of place. The complex, whose origin dates back from a hermitage used by Franciscans since 1592, was built between 1608 and 1620. The interior of the church is in Baroque style with the ceiling portraying Saint Anthony's miracles. The beautiful bluetiles also date from the 17th century whilst the furniture is made from Brazilian jacaranda hardwood. The mortal remains of the Emperor Dom Pedro I and D. Leopoldina's son are in the mausoleum as well as those of Dom Pedro II and D. Teresa Cristina's sons.
The Palácio Pedro Ernesto, in Cinelândia, was built in 1923 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.
The National Library, the largest in Latin America, is located across the road from the Municipal Theatre in Cinelandia, downtown Rio. It was founded by Dom Joao VI in 1810 with it initially housing a collection originating from the Royal Library of Lisbon. It was built in 1905 by General Francisco Souza Aguiar and holds the most valuable bibliographic collection in Brazil including a Bible dating back to 1462 by the Gutenberg followers and Empress Teresa Cristina's book collection which was donated by Emperor Dom Pedro II.
The Lapa District was a former beach known as Areias de Espanha (The Spanish Sands); it grew around the seminary and chapel, which had been built in 1751 to the glory of Our Lady of Lapa and Exile. When Dom Joao VI arrived, the Carmelite friars had to leave the convent of the Largo do Carmo to the benfit of the monarch. They then received the ancient seminary and chapel of Lapa as their new dwellings. In 1810 the image of Our Lady of Carmo was copied and placed on the high altar where it remains to this day. The high altar and side altars were sculpted between 1775 and 1780.
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