Most Noble Noth Zone

This day, the tourist will be taken to majestic buildings that housed our kings and emperors and will know privileged places of the religious faith of the Cariocas.

9:00 – Meeting at the Imperial Palace of the Quinta da Boa Vista (“Good View Estate”),

in São Cristovão (St. Christopher). The best ways to arrive there are either by taxi or by subway that holds a station right in front of the Palace’s entrance.

Quinta da Boa Vista is a public park administered by the City of Rio de Janeiro. Therein lies the former Imperial Palace of São Cristóvão, now converted into National Museum of UFRJ — the biggest ethnographic and national museum of Latin America — and the Rio Zoo.

The park was a farm belonged to the merchant Elias Antonio Lopes (*? †1815), who was honored to donate it to the Portuguese Royal Family upon their arrival in 1808. The Portuguese bourgeois from O Porto was ennobled by D. João VI with the Order of Christ and other privileges.

The original house has undergone several architectural interventions up to become the Palace. The most important intervention was initiated at the wedding time (1817) of Prince Royal D. Pedro de Alcantara with Archduchess Leopoldine of Austria (1797-1826). The English architect John Johnston was responsible for the design and renovation of the Palace and installed a monumental gate at its entrance 3 a wedding gift from General Hugh Percy (1742-1817), Duke of Northumberland. This gate is modeled on the Robert Adam´s porch of Syon House, the residence of the Ducal House of Northumberland in London, and it is shaped into a kind of clay called “Coade stone”. Protected by Iphan, this gate is currently highlighted as the main entrance of the Rio Zoo.

The Royal Palace (1808-1821), after becoming the Imperial Palace (1822-1889) was one of the most important South American centers of power in XIX century.

Therefore, a considerable number of Brazilians considers that the Palace of Quinta da Boa Vista — of Dom João VI and Dom Pedro I and birthplace of Dom Pedro II and Dona Isabel —, should contain memorabilia of the Imperial Family, so that the public who visits Rio de Janeiro could get hold of this type of material without going to Petropolis, where the Imperial Museum concentrates great part of the furniture, objects, adornments and belongings of the XIXth century Brazilian princes.

However after the proclamation of the Republic (1889) and the final confirmation and consolidation of the regime in President Vargas´ times [1930-1945], nobody took seriously the idea of installing at the Quinta da Boa Vista an “Imperial Museum of Rio de Janeiro”.

In this context, the Quinta da Boa Vista can be taken as a memorial of the Brazilian Royalty where their belongings are not seen but their presence is felt intensely. All who visit the São Cristóvão Palace feel the Brazilian monarchs, their children and grandchildren lived joys and sorrows, acclamations and isolations there and the place has a very high emotional charge.

Even though it still needs internal and external repairs, the Quinta da Boa Vista is one of the most pleasant places in the City of Rio de Janeiro and it is worth visiting.

10:30 – Visit to the former First Reign Museum, now “The Brazilian Fashion Museum”.

Inaugurated on March 12th 1979, the Museum is known as “The Marchioness of Santos House” for it was the residence of Dom Pedro I favourite, Dona Domitila de Castro Canto e Mello (1797-1867), from 1826 to 1829. Domitila de Castro knows Dom Pedro still as Prince Regent on the fateful trip to São Paulo where he would proclaim the break with Portugal (September 7th 1822). She was married to the militiaman Felicio Pinto Coelho de Mendonça (1789-1833), from Vila Rica (Minas Gerais), but she abandoned her husband because of his bad treatment.

In 1823 the Emperor installed her on Barão de Ubá street, now Estacio district — it was Domitila´s first residence in Rio de Janeiro. The same year he acquires from the doctor and diplomat Theodoro Ferreira de Aguiar (1769-1827) a land with two grangers in the outskirts of the Imperial Palace, and commissions his private architect, the French Pierre Joseph Pézerat (1800-1872) to convert one of the houses into a small palace where his lover would live surrounded by luxury and refinement.

The very National Works Architect, Paulo Alexandre Curvoé, took over the job to build the small palace that had the internal decoration given to the best artists of the time — Francisco Pedro do Amaral (1790-1831) Zephryin Ferrez (1788-1851) and Marc Ferrez (1788-1850) among others. They made an effort to decorate all the quarters with mural paintings, ceilings in relief, heart-shaped transoms on the walls and doors, floors in carved Brazilian wood taking the shape of a harmonic set with great artistic and architectonic value. From the Quinta Dom Pedro could enjoy the internal façade of the small palace where two staircases in an elegant design of sinuous curves take to a pleasant garden with a lake surrounded by dense trees.

At this house Dom Pedro I legitimised bastard children were conceived and born. D. Isabel Maria de Alcântara Brasileira (1824-1898), the Duchess of Goiás, and Countess of Treuberg, Baroness of Holzen by marriage, D. Pedro de Alcantara Brasileiro (1825-1826) who died before completing one year; D. Maria Isabel de Alcantara Brasileira (1827) who would be the Duchess of Ceará, but died a few months before the title was granted and D. Maria Isabel de Alcantara Brasileira (1830-1896), the future Countess of Iguassú by marriage with Pedro Caldeira Brandt (1814-1881).

Domitila was titled Viscountess of Santos on October 12th 1825. The following year on the same date (the Emperor’s birthday), she was elevated to the condition of Marquise and appointed first-lady-in-waiting of the Empress — the final dishonour ended up provoking a psychosomatic cancer in Dona Leopoldine (1797-1826) — one of the most loved women in the Brazilian History who was, at the end of her life, despised and humiliated by her husband.

In mid 1829, weeks before the arrival in Brazil of his second wife, Princess Amelie of Leuchtenberg (1812-1873), Dom Pedro I banned the Marquise of Santos to São Paulo, for one of the implicit clauses of the nuptial agreement stated that the new Empress could never come across the old imperial lover.

After the return to São Paulo, Dona Domitila marries again, this time with her cousin Raphael Tobias de Aguiar (1794-1857) an important leader of the São Paulo Liberal Party who leads the 1842 Revolution, being acclaimed president of the Province against the decision of the Rio de Janeiro Court. Brigadier Tobias de Aguiar was arrested at Laje Fortress in Rio de Janeiro and later amnestied by Dom Pedro II in 1844 and returning to São Paulo. He and the Marquise of Santos had six children whose issue figures in the São Paulo nobility.

São Cristovão Manor was acquired by the Viscount of Mauá in 1869 and later sold to Luiz de Souza Breves (1828-1910), Baron of Guararema, on the 22nd of April, 1882. Ten years later, the Brazilian doctor Abel Parente acquired the property and in the 1910s it was sold to the Legation of the Republic of Uruguay. The building was inventoried by the Braz. National Patrimony Institute (Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional – Iphan) in 1938.

The main estate of the First Reign Museum is the building itself, that keeps up until today the traces of the French Artistic Mission in this magnificent  example of neoclassical style in Rio de Janeiro.

In the 2010s, the State of Rio´s Secretary of Culture decided to trasform the house into “The Brazilian Fashion Museum”.

12:00 – Departure to the Luiz Gonzaga Northern Traditions Centre of Rio de Janeiro,

in São Cristóvão, where we will have lunch.

The name of the place is a tribute to the so-called “Baião King”, the Brazilian musician Luiz Gonzaga (1912-1989).

The so-called “São Cristóvão Fair” is a conglomerate of eating dancing and folklore small businesses of the brazilian northeast in the very Rio de Janeiro. In 2003 Prof. Cesar Epitacio Maia (*1945), mayor of Rio de Janeiro, implemented reforms in order to dignify the booths and the services rendered at the place, given there was not the smallest organizational structure for the hawkers to work.

14:00 – Visit to the Journalist Mario Filho Stadium, the famous Maracanã Stadium.

Considered the “Brazilian Football Temple”, it is Brazil’s biggest stadium. Inaugurated on June the 16th 1950, by the Federal District Mayor, Marshall Angelo Mendes de Moraes (1894-1990), it was used at that year´s World Cup.

The Maracanã has been the stage of great moments of the world and Brazilian footballs like the thousandth goal of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (*1940) — the Pelé — finals of the Brazilian and Rio de Janeiro championships, international competitions and matches of the Brazilian team.

It was one of the competition places for the 2007 Pan American Games, having hosted football, the opening and closing ceremonies. After numerous modernization works the current stadium capacity is 78 thousand spectators. Maracanã is the maximum symbol of the XXXI Olympic Games, seated in Rio de Janeiro.

15:00 – Departure to Penha district where we will visit the church of the venerable Our Lady of Penha of France Brotherhood.

In the beginning of the XVIIth century, Captain Baltazar de Abreu Cardoso went up the cliff to look at his plantations and was granted a miracle — he got free from a serpent that would attack him. Grateful to Our Lady he built a small chapel where he put the image of the Virgin. The devotion to Our Lady of Penha spread and more and more the number of people who visit this place increases.

The staircase, by which the church is also famous was built in 1817 sculpted in the very cliff rock also in gratitude to a grace granted has 382 steps!

On September the 15th 1966, His Eminency and Excellency the Most Reverend Dom Jaime Cardinal de Barros Câmara (1894-1971), Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, elevated the sacred temple of Our Lady of Penha to the category of Perpetual Shrine. And on May 31st 1981, his successor Dom Eugênio Cardinal de Araújo Sales (*1920), listening to the wishes of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, elevated the Our Lady of Penha church to the category of Marian Shrine of the Archdiocese.

A historical curiosity is that the Countess of Paris, née Dona Isabel of Orleans-and-Braganza (1911-2003), visited the shrine and went up the staircase on her knees at the time of the Second World War (1939-1945), praying her husband who fought for France with the Foreign Legion under the pseudonym “Henri Orliac”, given he was forbidden to be at the French Army by the exile and banishment laws of the French dynasts (1866).

Improvements are being executed to heed the Our Lady of Penha devotees so as to improve the infrastructure: more bathrooms, a new tram to transport 500 people every hour and a shelter for the pilgrims as well as a restaurant with a view and an eating parlour.

16:30 – Visit to the Tobias Barreto de Meneses Community Library,

a social project that was supported by Oscar Niemeyer´s granddaughter, Anna Lucia Niemeyer de Medeiros.

The Library was funded by the (Brazilian) National Bank of Economic and Social Development with a beautiful Niemeyer project.

The creator of the library is Evando dos Santos, a bricklayer who was born in Sergipe State and was literate only at the age of eighteen. He founded the Library in 1998, honoring his fellow Tobias Barreto de Meneses (1839-1889), the famous jurist, philosopher, poet and Germanist from the “Recife School”, who died sick and impoverished at the age of fifty years old.

Community Library Tobias Barreto de Meneses

Rua Maestro Henrique Vogeler, 348
Vila da Penha
21.235-680 RIO DE JANEIRO _ RJ

17:30 – End of Rio´s Most Noble North Zone.