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Are you tired of the crowds in the tourist spots of the city? Well, you are in the right place. Quinta da Boa Vista is a large green area, located in the São Cristóvão neighbourhood, which has gradually won the hearts of the vast majority of Rio's inhabitants, who prefer to unwind and spend the day away from the crowds of downtown Rio. Suitable for a family walk or to relax a little from the crowd of people strolling through this great and populous city.
The name of Quinta da Boa Vista, the Good View Farm, is originally related to the location of the mansion Elias Antonio Lopes commissioned to be build on the hill, where the religious order of the Jesuits were expelled from in 1759. Indeed, the wonderful views of Guanabara Bay you can enjoy from São Cristóvão Palace, now home to the National Museum, and its surrounding areas are downright impressive.
The main building, as well as all the green area you can see, has been modified over the years. In 1808, adaptation of Quinta da Boa Vista to the needs of the Portuguese Royal Family, after its exile to Brazil, was the work of the English architect, John Johnston, during the reform of which he was responsible for installing the large terracotta Monumental Gate that the Duke of Northumberland gave to Dom Pedro and Maria Leopoldina of Austria as a wedding gift, and which is now the main entrance to Río Zoo, the Rio's Zoological Garden.
Until Brazil's Declaration of Independence in 1822, the Royal Residence was crowned the European kingdom's capital, as it became the seat of the governments of Portugal, Algarve and the United Kingdom in Brazil.
But, in 1822, at the beginning of Brazil's Empire, Emperor Pedro I commissioned a new renovation of the São Cristóvão Palace to architect Manuel da Costa, but it was architect Pedro José Pezerát who provided it with the neoclassical style for which it is known today through the enlargement of the house with a third floor and the new façade design.
The beautification project of the gardens was the work of the French landscaper Auguste François Marie Glaziou and, although after the beginning of the Republic in 1889 Quinta da Boa Vista was left to abandonment, currently many landscape designs have remained, such as the artificial caves, the Alameda das Sapucaias, which will impress you with their pink flowers, when they are in bloom, and the lake, which attracts many inhabitants of Rio not only for its small islet, on which there is a Greco-Roman structure known as Temple of Apollo, but also as a place which is suitable for canoeing or using pedalos.
Thus, taking advantage of the fact that you are in this quiet and relaxing open recreational area, discover its beautiful corners strolling around or crossing it by bicycle, apart from the National Museum and the Zoo, you can also find a beautiful neoclassical pergola and even a Chinese bamboo pagoda. Or if you prefer to relax a bit in Rio's purest style, choose one of the green hills of the park to stretch and rest a while. Your feet will surely thank you for that.
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