Attention-Grabbing Architecture in Rio de Janeiro

Discussion in 'Central/South America' started by NileGuide, Sep 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Rio de Janeiro is famous for its beaches, its dramatic landscape, its beautiful people and its party atmosphere, but its architecture is largely overlooked in tourist board images.
    But while it is difficult to compete with Sugar Loaf mountain and the iconic Christ statue atop Corcovado, Rio is in fact home to some genuinely impressive architecture, with buildings that in less dramatically beautiful cities would be major tourist attractions in their own right.
    It’s well worth taking a day or so to explore Rio’s architectural gems, but you’ll have to drag yourself away from the beach in order to do so, as most of the city’s noteworthy buildings are to be found in and around Centro.
    Jump on a Metro and head to Cinelandia, where you’ll emerge in front of the imposing Theatro Municipal. An attention-grabbing domed building inspired by the Paris Opera House, the Theatro Municipal was re-opened last year after major renovation works, and its golden paintwork now glistens and gleams to stunning effect. Nearby, the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) is less dramatic but still an impressive piece of architecture.
    For a glimpse into Rio’s colonial past, head to Rua do Lavradio, the heart of Rio’s historic center. This street is lined with handsome colonial buildings, most of which have now been transformed into restaurants, bars and antique stores. If that whets your appetite for Rio’s belle epoque, head up to the beautiful hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa, where stately mansions and cobbled streets provide a stark contrast to the towering hotels and apartment blocks of Copacabana and Ipanema.
    Rio de Janeiro is also home to some beautiful churches, of which the Igreja da Gloria (easy to reach by taking the Metro to Gloria) and Igreja da Candelaria, in Centro are among the standouts.
    Photo: Theatro Municipal, courtesy of Ademar Ribeiro

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