One of Rio's most traditional neighborhoods, Botafogo is
between the historical strip from Flamengo to Downtown, and
the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema (see city
map). The neighborhood was named after João Pereira de Souza
Botafogo, one of the first residents in the area.
gained importance in the end of the XIX century when the
Portuguese Court came to live in Brazil (see history).
D. Carlota Joaquina, D João VI's wife, had a country home here,
where she could bathe in the (then) unpolluted waters of the Guanabara
Bay. Many mansions were built in the area. Some are still
standing, in most cases adapted to use by private clinics, schools,
cultural centers, etc.
In addition to good looks and a colorful nightlife,
Botafogo is a center of cultural activities, with museums, theaters and movie
theaters. RioSul, one of Rio's major shopping
malls is here, right across from Rio Off-Shopping with a number of outlets and discount stores. Keep a note in your
agenda for a rainy day or something... Traffic in Botafogo may flow very slowly at rush hours, as it is a natural
corridor from the South Side to Downtown.
This is where everybody takes the famous postcard photo of the Guanabara Bay, as shown above. From here you can take photos of the statue of Christ, the Redeemer. You can also see a favela in detail from above. The number of satellite dishes is a proof that most of these homes are as well-equipped as their asphalt counterparts. The access is by Bartolomeu Portela Street.
The founder of the Brazilian Academy of Music played a very important role in Brazilian culture. Born in 1887, Heitor Villa-Lobos dedicated his life to the study of original Brazilian music. His work as a composer was internationally acclaimed. One year after his death President Juscelino Kubitschek (see history) created the Museum with the objective of preserving and divulging the works of the composer. The museum's headquarters is a mansion that was built in the late XIX century, with gardens designed by landscape artist Burle Marx. Among attractions you will find the original partituras - including the Brazilian Bachians. There are also photos, personal objects, musical instruments and the piano he used to compose. There is a small amphitheater in the garden. Villa-Lobos was chosen in 1999 as the Carnival theme by Samba School Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel.
The mansion in neoclassical style was built in 1850 by Baron of Lagoa, and renovated by a Portuguese tradesman in 1879. It was purchased by Rui Barbosa in 1895, and this is where he lived until his death in 1923. Rui Barbosa was a famous jurist, politician and journalist. The museum is a center of research and documentation. Attractions include period furniture, personal objects and cars used by Rui Barbosa.
Inaugurated in 1953 by Marshal Rondon, the museum tries to preserve and divulge the culture of major native Brazilian Indian tribes. The museum is in a mansion built in the late XIX century on Rua das Palmeiras. There is a reproduction of an Indian hut in the garden, and you can go inside and see the accessories and furnishings actually used by natives. Inside the museum among the 15 thousand pieces you will find all sorts of handicraft and art, photos, musical instruments, movies, recordings of original music, and a library.
In a part of Botafogo known as Humaitá, this is one of two major farmer's markets on the South Side (the other is in Leblon). This one is a larger version, with similar attractions. During the day you will find here Rio's freshest produce and a number of bars, cafés and small restaurants, including a branch of Arataca with Northeastern delicacies. At night a number of restaurants and bars stay open attracting a young crowd from Botafogo and surrounding neighborhoods. The jam sessions happen at Far Up, and other attractions include Espírito do Chopp, Galeto Mania, Kotobuki, Pizza Park, Puebla Café Taqueria, Taxi Café and De Veras Café.