Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Walking tour in an historic neighborhood in Rio

Steps carved into the stone (slave labor)

A little while ago Luiz was a walking tour guide at the ´The Hill and The Sea´ event in the Morro da Conceição neighborhood in Rio. This very old neighborhood has been run down and neglected for generations, but with the new port being built up in preparation for the Olympics (new museums, refurbished port buildings, modernized plazas and sidewalks, new lighting and trash recepticles...) the neighborhood is on the rise.

The neighborhood used to be at the shore of the bay but landfill over the years has pushed it back several blocks. But recent construction work uncovered the remains of the original street and docking point where slaves were delivered for sale. There is now a very interesting archeological site that reveals this history.

The archeological site that reveals the dark history of the area.

As is often the case, when the neighborhood was funky and filthy, artists moved into the historic houses and created studio space on the cheap. And, of course, gay men moved in and started to doll up the place. Now it is a very hip place.

Anyway, this event was an Open Studios weekend with tour guides taking visitors from studio to studio up on the hill. Very cool.

I went with Luiz the day before the event to do a walk through of his route, then returned two days later to visit the studios. Unfortunately, I misunderstood Luiz when he told me to wait at the plaza in the middle of the neighborhood as he would join me there and we would finish off the day and return home together. What I got wrong was that he was going to go to the plaza after his shift and I dropped out of our tour hours earlier to wait for him at the plaza.  So I MISSED most of the studios! Urgh! But there was great music and entertainment in the plaza.

Here are some photos of the area, the houses and some of the entertainment.

The neighborhood is characterized by 100 - 150 year old houses.  Granite framed windows and doors.
Looking up at the hand painted roof tiles from Portugal.

Note the giant stone slabs that make up the road in some areas. Slave labor.

Luiz and his companieras.


The Reader said...

Those painted roof Gorgeous!

Will have to put this on my "places to visit" list ASAP. Thanks for posting about it.

bee and jay said...

Love it. This one's bookmarked!