Rio: Routes & Monuments

By Rio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

Paths and curiosities that only those who live in the marvelous city can show to those who have never been here. From the renovated Mauá Square to Lapa, this exhibit invites you to a tour around cultural spots in Rio's downtown.

Mauá SquareRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

Mauá Square

Praça Mauá marks the beginning of Rio Branco Avenue and also of the Port Region, an important place of entry of products and tourists in the city, since 1910. After the revitalization, in 2015, the square became a cultural point with important buildings, such as the Rio Art Museum (MAR) and the Museum of Tomorrow, as well as the city's first skyscraper, built in 1930. In the middle of the square, there is a statue of Barão de Mauá, a great businessman from the Empire period.

Mauá SquareRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

CandeláriaRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation


Probably one of the most famous churches in Rio de Janeiro and considered by some as the most beautiful one, Candelária certainly deserves a visit. Legacy of Gothic and Neo-Classical architecture, the church's interior follows the Italian Neo-Renaissance style and contains panels telling the story of the churchs's construction. Besides its artistic heritage, Candelária is a historic site of political struggle, demonstrations and strikes.

XV SquareRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

XV Square

The square is located in the historical center of Rio de Janeiro and flanked by Palácio Tiradentes - today's seat of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro - and the Paço Imperial. The Praça XV Station is a ferry terminal servicing a number of destinations in the city of Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi. From its top, we can see the renovated XV Square with a beautiful pattern on its Portuguese Pavement stones.

XV SquareRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

Located at Praça XV, the Mestre Valentim Fountain was opened in 1789. Built of gneiss carioca, limestone and bronze, very common raw materials in its author's works, the fountain was erected between two stairways leading down to Largo do Paço Pier. This was a privileged position for supplying water for ships. It was portrayed by almost all traveler artists who visited the city in the 19th century.

CinelandiaRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation


Cinelandia is the popular name of the region around the Floriano Square in the center of Rio, covering the area from the Avenida Rio Branco to Rua Senador Dantas, and Evaristo da Veiga to Praça Mahatma Gandhi. You will find there buildings important to Brazilian history such as the Municipal Theater, the National Library and the classic Cine Odeon, one of the first movie theaters in the city.

Carlos Gomes (1960) by UnknowRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

Carlos Gomes was the most important opera composer of Brazil. Author of the opera entitled "The Guarani", he mixed indigenous and classical instruments. Today, his statue stands next to the Municipal Theater.

To Never More (2016) by Cristina PozzobonRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

The monument is a tribute to Brazilian resistance and struggle for amnesty. It was installed in 2014, funded by the Amnesty Commission of the Ministry of Justice and donated on the 50th anniversary of the 1964 military coup. The scuplture is 2.5 meers high, in corten steel, representing the Brazilian flag cut in half, with the stars on the pavement.

Gandhi (1969) by Sankho ChaudhuriRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

The bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest pacifist leaders of the world, is a magnificent portrait of the father of Indian independence and a gift from the government to the country. It is located between Cinelandia and Passeio Público.

Monumental Fountain (1880) by Mathurin MoreauRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

Acquired by the imperial government at Val d'Osne Foundries, the Monumental Fountain is Brazil's largest artistic fountain cast in iron, 10 meters high.

Passeio Público

Between Lapa and Cinelandia, the Public Promenade was inaugurated in the 18th century as the first public park in the Americas. Created by Mestre Valentim, it was inspired by the Passeio Público of Lisbon (1760) and by the French style. Built in 1783, Passeio, as locals call it, was a popular meeting place in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside, you can find works of art such as fountains, sculptures and pyramids, as well as various species of the national flora.

Monumental Gate (1783) by Mestre ValentimRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

The wrought-iron rococo style Monumental gate, highlights the royal coat of arms and the effigies of Mary I, and her husband, Peter III of Portugal.

Rocaille Cascade (1888) by GlaziouRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

The Rocaille of Passeio is a composition of elements of a romantic garden. A small waterfall behind a stone bench supplies the park pond in water.

Alligators Fountain (1783) by Mestre ValentimRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation

The Alligators Fountain was created by Mestre Valentim and is the first work representing stylized animals of the Brazilian fauna.

Lapa Arches (1750) by Brigadeiro AlpoimRio de Janeiro Department of Conservation


After Cinelândia and Public Promenade, the next stop is Lapa, where you can see the historical arches and Selaron Stairs, Rio's two great post-card views. Lapa's Arch was build in the 18th century by African slaves as an aqueduct and then rebuild as a train pass. On the other side, Chilean artist Jorge Selarón built the Selaron Stairway, the stairway at Joaquim Silva Street which became a background to all sort of fashion and cultural videos and photos about Rio.

Credits: Story

Municipal Secretary for Conservancy and Public Services: Marcus Belchior.

Manager Chief: Ana Luiza Toledo Piza.
Project Manager and I.T.: Rodrigo Kemel.
Photos: Daniel Coelho.
Aerial Photos: João Francisco.
Text and Content: Amanda Cinelli.
Apoio: Lenora Vasconcellos.

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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