XV SQUARE – HISTORIC PLACE IN DOWNTOWN OF RIO
XV Square or Fifteenth of november Square is one of the most famous squares in the city center and there are still some very important buildings in the History of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, besides having been the stage of historical events.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
This place was really important for the city during the colonial times. It was the main place for the entrance for the people that came from the sea, and for many slaves brought from África until 1811. After this activity was held at Valongo Wharf.
XV square is surrounded on one side by the beautiful Guanabara Bay and on the other side by the Primeiro de Março St.. And this street was considered one of the most busy and of extreme importance in the city.
IMPERIAL PALACE (OLD ROYAL PALACE)
One of the most significance construccion at the square is the actual Imperial Palace. It once functioned as the Palace of Governors and the Mint. It also became the first official residence of Dom João VI and his family (the Portuguese Royal Family) in 1808, so it was known as the Royal Palace.
An interesting detail: this was the first building to use glass in the windows.
In this building also happen important speeches as the Dia do Fico (Stay Day). In this day, Pedro I (the son of Dom João VI) and the first emperor of Brazil decided stay in Brazil while the Royal Family was going back to Portugal. It was also there that Princess Isabel signed the letter of the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil, the Áurea Law (Golden Law), on May 13, 1888.
Address: Praça XV, 48
Horário: From Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 until 6 PM.
Telephone: (21) 2215-3622
Tickets: Free entrance
If you want to know more details about the History of Brazil, don’t miss the opportunity to join our Free Walking Tour Downtown and Lapa. We go to the main historical places of the city (as XV Square) and we’ll tell the history in a fun and different way.
There are some other constructions that are also a part of the square besides the Imperial Palace.
SEE SOME OTHERS EXEMPLE
MESTRE VALENTIM FOUNTAIN
This work was inaugurated in 1789, and Mestre Valentim was one of the main artists and planners at that time. He also participated in the works of the first project of Passeio Público and the sculptures that are there. The work was a request of the then Viceroy Dom Luiz de Vasconcelos. It was an attempt to improve the water supply of the local population and to help the ships that docked there.
Address: Praça XV
ARCO DO TELLES
The place that is today named the Arco do Telles (Arch of Telles), was the residence of one of the most important families of this region in the colonial period. This is still one of the best preserved passages in the city. Composed of streets with many houses, cafes, bars and restaurants is a special place with an Old Rio air.
Address: Praça XV
IGREJA NOSSA SENHORA DO CARMO (OLD CATHEDRAL)
Located on Primeiro de Março St., this church draws much attention for its beauty in the middle of modern buildings that built the new landscape of the city. The church has Rococo style, and was built after the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazilian lands.
In 1808 Dom João VI transformed it into Royal Chapel and there will be the coronations of the two emperors of Brazil: Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II. In addition important marriages such as Princess Isabel and the French Count D´Eu were held in 1864.
Address: Rua Sete de Setembro, 14 – Centro
Opening Hours: Historical, religious and artistic collection from Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 3:30 pm; Saturday from 9h30 to 12h.
On the first Saturday of the month there is no visitation.
Telephone: (21) 2242-7766
Tickets: Free Entrance
It is also possible to observe at Primeiro de Março St. the former Carmo Convent (currently no longer functions as a convent). This is the oldest building on site.
The convent was the residence of the Queen of Portugal, Queen Maria I, also known as Crazy Maria, shortly after the arrival of the royal family in Brazil in 1808. For a long time it was used as a teaching institute and today the space is occupied by a public agency.
XV SQUARE ANTIQUES FAIR
Not long ago the 15th Square underwent a revitalization. The Perimetral Viaduct that cut the square was removed. In addition to being built the sidewalk of the Navy and the station of the VLT. The place now is much nicer to visit and since then it is possible to better appreciate the surrounding buildings. After all this change the fair gained prominence throughout the square.
This is known as one of the largest antique fairs in all Latin America. Consisting of over 360 tents and over 500 vendors, legalized by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall. And at this fair you can find everything you can imagine (literally!), Including clothes, objects, coins, books, furniture and more.
Address: Praça XV, in front of the Imperial Palace
Opening Hours: Saturdays from 8 until 2 pm.
Ferry Station at Praça XV was built between 1904 and 1912. This is one of the options for those wishing to access Niterói or Paquetá Island which are located on the other side of Guanabara Bay. It’s a quick and interesting option, as you don’t have to go over the Rio-Niterói bridge and save more time to enjoy the attractions there.
OTHER OPTIONS OF TOURIST POINTS
Niterói is a place worth knowing, with very beautiful and quiet beaches. Even the residents of Niterói say they have the most beautiful view of the city, can you imagine why? They can see Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer side by side, interesting, don’t you think? Besides being a place with many works by architect Oscar Niemeyer and several cultural centers.
Check the ferry schedules at this link!
From XV Square you can visit other sights in the city such as the Fiscal Island which is a Historical and Naval Museum, where important events of the Portuguese Royal Family occurred, when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Portuguese Empire.
Did you like our tips? The XV Square is really worth a visit! Don’t miss this opportunity. 🙂