When we speak of the historical center of a city, we take a trip back in time to understand the contemporary city and its inhabitants through its past, its origin. And the historical center of Rio de Janeiro is not different: it is where the history of the city begins.
After its foundation in 1565, sixty-three years after the arrival of the Portuguese by the Guanabara Bay, Mem de Sá decides to change the settlements around the Sugar Loaf and Cara de Cão hill to the former hill called Castelo. And so, the city of Rio de Janeiro begins to grow from the region where today is the center of the city.
Amidst the modern buildings, the first churches built in the city, the convents, the monasteries, the old palaces, the squares and what remains of the historical houses still bring charm and contrast to the city.
Here are some of the reasons why you should visit the historical center of Rio:
Even today it survives to what many historians believe to have been the first church to be built in the city: the Church of St.Joseph, which is on Avenida Antonio Carlos and St.Joseph Street, right next to the Tiradentes Palace, now the State Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, but which, during the period when the city was a federal capital, had housed the Brazilian National Congress until the year 1960.
Just one block away is the square XV de Novembro: a place where one of the most historically rich square meters of Brazil is located.
From the windows of the Paço Imperial, one of the important historical buildings located in this square and that was the first dwelling of D. João VI during the period in which he lived in the city of Rio de Janeiro, two notable announcements were made: the Stay Day, announced by D. Pedro I, and the announcement of the signing of the Aurea Law, by Princess Isabel, that put an end to slavery in the country.
Visiting the interior of these and other historical buildings brings a better understanding of the culture at that time. And the best way to explore Rio’s historic center is by walking. And with a tour guide to tell you the stories is even better.
Choose a day to make this visit and come and enjoy with your guide this private tour through the historic center of Rio de Janeiro!
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