THE PORT AND ITS HILLS

Museu do Amanhã

The natural curves of Rio de Janeiro call the attention of those who arrive to the city by land, air or by sea. Its hills have many stories to tell. It was on them that the first Portuguese raised their houses when they came to Brazil, where the defenses and forts were installed and also where the African-Brazilian culture gained strength and spread to the rest of the city.

Benedictines and the São Bento Hill
Since 1590, the Benedictines have been installed on top of the Morro de São Bento. Since then, the Catholic congregation has resisted political disputes and bombings. In 1711 the monastery was struck by French pirate Duguay-Trouin's cannons. In 1732, a fire nearly destroyed the building. Then, in 1893, during the Revolt of the Armada, it was the target of attacks again. Currently , it houses a traditional school and a monastery. It has as neighbors the headquarters of the Navy and a modern 28-story high-rise on the corner of Avenida Rio Branco, No. 1 (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

In the etching by Thierry Frères, which depicts the arrival of the Empress Leopoldina to Brazil in 1843, we can see the Monastery of São Bento in the background (photo: Biblioteca Nacional).

The interior of the Monastery of São Bento is gold plated (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

A view of part of the façade of the Monastery of St. Benedict, which now houses 40 priests and employees (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

CONCEPTION: INSIDE THE CENTER OF RIO
The Morro da Conceição is one of the last remnants of the original nucleus of the city and the only one that remained preserved in some way. Walking on its slopes rooted in the financial heart of Rio and neigboring the port area, is like getting inland out of the proper metropolis. Silence prevails, broken sometimes only by barking dogs and the residents' relaxed chatting. Considered as the city's historical heritage, it is a place of coexistence of monuments protected by conservation authorities such as the Episcopal Palace and the Fortress of Conceição. On Conceição hill, you can also find the Church of St. Francis of Prainha and the Pedra do Sal, sacred for African religions (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

This nineteenth-century etching shows the slopes of Morro da Conceição. In the background, the Port of Rio de Janeiro and the Candelaria Church (photo: Biblioteca Nacional).

View of the Monastery of São Bento in the nineteenth century (photo: Biblioteca Nacional).

Candelaria Church and views vessels of Morro da Conceição high in the nineteenth century (photo: Biblioteca Nacional).

The Conceição Palace, also known as Episcopal Palace, is located on the hill and was the former episcopal residence of the city (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

Since 1926 in the Conceição Hill, the Valongo is currently administered by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and holds the oldest telescope in the country (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

The Hanging Garden of Valongo is a landscaped building located in the western slope of the Morro da Conceição. It was built in 1906 (photo: Marco Tristão / Museu do Amanhã).

FAVELA HEY, FAVELA THAT SAW ME BORN ...
The origin of the favelas is linked to the process of development of the Port Region. The name of a small plant typical of Northeast Brazil, capable of surviving in areas beyond the Hinterland, defines housing settlements which house a persistent people, who survive beyond the rich areas. And it happened just because of the Morro da Favela, now known as Morro da Providencia. Nearby, are still the Morros do Livramento - where writer Machado de Assis was born - and the Pinto, located near the Avenida Presidente Vargas and stuck to Cidade Nova and Santo Cristo neighborhoods (photo: Arquivo da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro).

The Port Region seen from above, from the Morro da Providência, in the early twentieth century (photo: Biblioteca Nacional).

Concrete prevails in one of the new views of Morro da Providência which received a cable railway for easy access for residents (photo: Marcos Tristão/ Museu do Amanhã).

The view of the port area has gained new contours and buildings (photo: Marcos Tristão/ Museu do Amanhã).

Morro da Providência has over 4,094 residents, according to the latest census of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), conducted in 2010 (photo: Marcos Tristão/ Museu do Amanhã).

The name "favela" comes from the plant "Cnidoscolus quercifolius", a shrub with white flowers native of the Northeast of Brazil which was brought by veterans of the Canudos War. When they arrived in Rio de Janeiro, they came to live in what is now Providência Hill. The name of the plant became synonymous with makeshift dwellings erected in the city's hills (photo: Marcos Tristão/ Museu do Amanhã).

An image from 1920 shows residents with musical instruments on Morro da Favela, currently Providência (photo: Augusto Malta / Arquivo da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro).

An image from the early twentieth century shows the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer, still existing in the Providência Hill (photo: Augusto Malta/Biblioteca Nacional).

This photo from the early twentieth century shows the Morro do Livramento, changed to Providência, birthplace of writer Machado de Assis was born (photo: Augusto Malta/Biblioteca Nacional).

Get to know the lives of those who inhabit the port hills of Rio.

Credits: Story

Museu do Amanhã

Curator: Luiz Alberto Oliveira
Content Director: Alfredo Tolmasquim
Contetn Manager: Leonardo Menezes
Edit: Emanuel Alencar
Writer: Eduardo Carvalho
Trainee: Thaís Cerqueira
Photos: Marcos Tristão e I Hate Flash
Video: Monclar Filmes

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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