The perfect place to start your tour of Rio de Janeiro, Cinelandia
is located on the prestigous Avenida Rio Branco, the most sought
after address in Rio. Known officially as the Praça Floriano,
Cinelandia is a quaint square resembling a small Parisian city.
Lined with sidewalk cafes flanked by gorgeous towering buildings,
Cinelandia is an architect’s dream, a combination of the Art
Deco and Modern periods of the 1930’s and ’40’s
coexisting in harmony with three of Rio’s most beautiful and
historic buildings; the Theatre Municipal
of Rio de Janeiro , the Fine
Arts Museum and the National Library.
An extremely popular area, also known as the Centre, Cinelandia
evolved in the early 1900’s when a man named Pereiro Passos
created the Avenida Central, Rio’s first grand boulevard.
Known today as the Avenida Rio Branco, the boulevard runs through
the center of Rio’s financial district. Although most of the
four-story structures erected at the time have been replaced with
towering office buildings, Cinelandia or the Praca Floriano remains
a beautiful city square, truly Parisian in design.
Cinelandia is anchored on the north by the Theatre
Municipal of Rio de Janeiro. Modeled after the Paris Opera House
and officially opened in 1909, the Teatro Municipal is an excellent
example of the culture, extravagance and influence of Paris in the
early 20th century. To the right and the left of the Teatro Muncipal
are the Fine Arts Museum and the National Library.
The National Library houses a Guthenberg bible from 1462, the De
Angelis Collection, the Empress Teresa Cristina’s Collection
and a 1572 edition of Camões' As Luziadas. The library’s
most majestic feature, however, is it’s grand entrance hall.
Five floors high, the atrium is graced by staircases and is definetely
worth the time it takes to visit. On the opposite side of the Teatro
Municipal is the Fine Arts Museum. Inside, you’ll find some
of the best art of Brazil. All three buildings in Cinelandia are
open to tourists.
The Cinelandia makes for an excellent stroll either with or without
a guide. Included on most tours offered in the city, the praca provides
for beautiful photographs and a relaxing afternoon. After a stroll
down the boulevard, all visitors are encouraged to lounge at any
one of the many sidewalk cafes. Most consider it the only way to
truly enjoy the view while absorbing the historical significance
of the Parisian culture and it’s effect on the people of Brazil.
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