The first structure built in Rio de Janeiro was in
Flamengo, according to some history books. Together with the downtown area and the historical districts of Glória and Catete this is where
you will find the highest concentration of landmarks, churches,
museums and other spots of cultural interest.
Flamengo has one of the prettiest views to Guanabara
Bay. The heart of the neighborhood is the Flamengo Reclaim, a
huge green park, designed by Brazilian garden guru Burle Marx.
Over 3,000 different species of trees were planted in an area of
over one million square meters. It is the home to the Museum
of Modern Art, the Carmem Miranda Museum.
There are also sports courts of all kinds, rollerblading and
bicycle lanes, a marina...
Moving on to Glória, next door to Flamengo, you
cannot miss the world-renowned Outeiro da Glória, a landmark
church near the traditional Hotel
Glória. The headquarters of Manchete Network are also here,
with a very interesting art gallery and a theater. Here is a
pocket list of spots of particular interest in the area.
Built in 1739 in an octagonal shape, this landmark church is covered in XVII century tiles. There is a Museum of Sacred Art in the annex. The view from the top of the hill is breath-taking, so make sure to bring a fresh roll of film. Ladeira da Glória, 135
Built from 1858 to 1866 in Neoclassical style. The Palace of Catete served as office and headquarters for the President of the Republic from 1897 to 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasilia. It was then adapted into a museum. In the permanent exhibition are objects of art, documents and furniture used by its last tenant, President Getúlio Vargas (who committed suicide here, incidentally). Rua do Catete, 153.
A little further away, in the neighborhood of Laranjeiras, you will find the Guanabara Palace, headquarters of the State Government. It was built in the first half of the XIX century and formerly used as official residence by the Presidents of the Republic (Pres. Vargas was the last one around). Visits outside only. Rua Pinheiro Machado, Laranjeiras
The permanent collection includes antique phones of all sorts, and old and modern equipment used in phone systems. Rua Dois de Dezembro, 63
The collection with pieces from all parts of Brazil features decorative arts, ceramics, toys objects used in African-Brazilian cults, typical costumes and popular art. There is a library with specialized books and special exhibitions. Rua do Catete, 181
The official name is Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, but true Cariocas call it simply Aterro (the Reclaim). This is the largest landscape project ever in Brazil with 1,2 million square meters of land reclaimed from Guanabara Bay, in 1960. There are myriad sports courts, marinas, and several attractions, including the Museum of Modern Art and Carmen Miranda Museum and a monument to Brazilian soldiers that died on World War II (we were with the Allied Forces, before you ask...) From Flamengo to Downtown