Even if Praca XV or XV Square in Rio de Janeiro today is more known
for its Rio-Niteroi ferryboat terminal, this was once where Dom
Pedro I and Dom Pedro II lived and governed Brazil.
The history behind Praca XV goes back to 1590 when the religious
Carmelite Fathers built their convent on this historic site, which
was little more than a sandy stretch of the coast. In 1700 some
property was given by the Carmelite Fathers to the government of
Rio de Janeiro to build the royal storehouses which were rebuilt
and expanded from 1743 onwards to include the Governor’s Mansion.
When the Portuguese royal family arrived in Brazil in 1808, this
was transformed into the royal palace and the square surrounding
it was renamed Largo do Paco. Praca XV has borne witness to many
important moments in the history of Brazil including:
The decision by Emperor Pedro I to remain in Brazil
The Coronation of Brazil’s two Emperors, Dom Pedro I and II
The Abolition of Slavery
The deposition of Emperor Pedro II 1889 and the extradition of his
family and household.
From 1743 through1889 this square was home to the government not
only of Rio de Janeiro but also Brazil, when for three successive
periods Rio was the nation’s capitol and home to its Court.
The square was renamed Praca 15 de Novembro in honour of the date
on which Brazil was proclaimed a Republic on 15.November 1889. Still
many impressive monuments remain in its neighbourhood, particularly
churches and old buildings.
The Imperial Palace, which is now a cultural center complete with
restaurants, temporary exhibitions and musical performances
The Carmelite convent in the Rua Primeiro de Marco built during
the XVI century and dating back to the earliest Carmelite Fathers,
today the Candido Mendes College.
The Pyramid Fountain sculpted by Mestre Valentim in 1789, fed by
the Carioca River in order to provide water for ships.
Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church in the Rua Primeiro de Marco, the
former Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro dating back to 1761
The church of the Third Order of Carmel in Rua Primeiro de Marco
dating back to the XVII century.
The Tele Arches, the last colonial arches in Rio, offering access
to the Praca Quinze de Novembro through the Travessa do Comercio,
which is lined by one of the best preserved rows of two-story townhouses
in Rio de Janeiro.
The church of Lapa dos Mercadores, following the Travessa do Comercio
to the corner of Rua do Ouvidor, which was built by local traders
in 1747 and rebuilt in 1862.
The Tiradentes Palace in the Rua Primeiro de Marco, today housing
the Legeslative Assembly, with the statue of Brazil’s independence
martyr Tiradentes gracing its porticio, close to the Church of Sao
Jose in the Rua Primeiro de Marco dating back to 1808, although
the saint has been venerated here since 1608.
In the centre of Praca XV de Novembro Square is the monument to
General Osorio, a awork by Rodolfo Bernadelli, paid by popular subscription.
From Praca XV back to Rio-de-Janeiro.info