Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
|State||Rio de Janeiro (RJ)|
|Municipality/City||Rio de Janeiro|
Santa Teresa (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɐ̃tɐ teˈɾezɐ]) is the name of a neighborhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is located on top of the Santa Teresa hill, by the centre of Rio, and is famous for its winding, narrow streets which are a favourite spot for artists and tourists.
The neighborhood originated around the Santa Teresa Convent, built in the 1750s on the Desterro hill. At the end of the 19th and early 20th century it was an upper class borough, as testified by its magnificent mansions, many of which are still standing.
In 1896, the Carioca Aqueduct, a colonial structure that used to bring water to the centre of Rio, was converted into a viaduct for the Santa Teresa Tramway. The historic tram line (bonde in Brazilian Portuguese) – the only remaining one in Rio – is a popular attraction among tourists. The ride starts in the city centre, near the Largo da Carioca square, crosses the old aqueduct and goes through the picturesque streets of the neighbourhood. Wonderful views of the city downhill can be appreciated. Five people were killed and at least 27 were injured when a tram derailed in August 2011 and the service has been indefinitely suspended since then, but an order has been placed for new tramcars with which the service is planned to resume.
Santa Teresa ceased being an upper-class neighbourhood long ago, but it has been revived as an artistic hotspot. It is home to several artists and art studios and galleries. The offer of restaurants and bars is also varied.
One of Santa Teresa's most illustrious inhabitants was Raimundo Otoni Castro Maya, an art collector who lived in his Chácara do Céu mansion in the neighborhood. The mansion was turned into a museum (Museu da Chácara do Céu) and its exhibits include works by Matisse, Jean Metzinger, Eliseu Visconti, Di Cavalcanti, and Candido Portinari. It's located close to the cultural center Parque das Ruínas. In 2006, some paintings were stolen, and haven't been recovered yet. Another museum is the Museu do Bonde, which tells the history of the Santa Teresa tram since its origins.
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