Jump to content

Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

Coordinates: 22°54′49″S 43°10′54″W / 22.91361°S 43.18167°W / -22.91361; -43.18167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aerial view of Lapa
Aerial view of Lapa
Lapa is located in Rio de Janeiro
Location in Rio de Janeiro
Lapa is located in Brazil
Lapa (Brazil)
Coordinates: 22°54′49″S 43°10′54″W / 22.91361°S 43.18167°W / -22.91361; -43.18167
Country Brazil
StateRio de Janeiro (RJ)
Municipality/CityRio de Janeiro

Lapa is a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is located in the center of Rio and is famous for its historical monuments and nightlife.

The neighborhood is home to the Arcos da Lapa, an impressive aqueduct constructed by colonial authorities in the mid-18th century. Another important historical attraction is the Passeio Público, the city's first public park, built in the 1780s.

Since the early 1950s, Lapa has been known for its lively cultural life, featuring many restaurants and bars where Brazilian artists and intellectuals meet. It remains renowned for its venues where various forms of Brazilian music can be enjoyed.The Sala Cecília Meireles, an essential venue for chamber music, is also located in Lapa.

Arcos da Lapa

The Aqueduct, and settlement in 1792
The Carioca Aqueduct, also known as Arcos da Lapa.

The neighborhood of Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, is known as the cradle of Bohemian Rio.[1] It is also famous for its architecture, beginning with the Arcos da Lapa (also known as the Carioca Aqueduct) which was originally constructed as an aqueduct during Colonial Brazil and now serves as a viaduct for the cable cars that climb the hill of Santa Teresa.

The Carioca Aqueduct is considered an architectural work of great importance in Old Rio and one of the main symbols of the city. The large Roman-style structure is 17.6 meters high, 270 meters long, and has 42 arches that connect the neighborhood of Santa Teresa to Morro de Santo Antônio. The Carioca Aqueduct was built in 1723, during colonial times, and was intended to lead water from the Carioca River through Morro do Desterro, then to Santa Teresa for the Morro de Santo Antônio. The aqueduct helped prevent water shortages in the city, a historically persistent problem. Studies to bring the waters of the Carioca River to the city began in the early years of the seventeenth century, but the work of installing water pipes in Rio de Janeiro did not start until a century later.

In recent times, the landscape of Lapa has transformed, bringing a wave of cultural vibrancy. The Square of the Brazilian Armed Forces, once a quiet spot attached to the arches, has been replaced by the lively Circo Voador. Arches Street, once a serene passage across the aqueduct, is now a vibrant venue. The neighborhood's boundary starts at the south end, where the Road of Glory becomes Rua da Lapa. And on the border of Santa Teresa, nestled among its hills, is the culturally rich neighborhood of Fátima.

In an attempt to revive the spirit of the residential district, its inhabitants created the movement "I Am From Lapa." They drew inspiration from the famous advertising campaign "I Love NY," believing it helped revitalize the American city that suffered decline in the 1970s. The movement sought to rekindle neighborhood pride by declaring "I'm from Lapa." With government support and the participation of most shops in Lapa, the "I Am From Lapa" movement spread around town, but with few effective achievements in the areas of crime reduction and rehabilitation of the homeless.

Lapa enjoys lower population density and less traffic relative to other regions of the city. The headquarters and administrative buildings of many large companies (Petrobras, BNDES, etc.) are located in the neighborhood, along with numerous high-quality commercial buildings on Chile Avenue (Ventura I and II, etc.). These features have attracted the attention of residents from the north, south, and west of Rio de Janeiro, eager to live closer to work and escape traffic jams. Newly launched residential projects providing comprehensive infrastructure (Viva Lapa, Cores da Lapa, etc.) have been fully sold, demonstrating a high demand for housing in a neighborhood perceived to offer a high standard of living.


Escadaria Selarón
Streets of Lapa.

The neighborhood offers a melting pot of diverse urban tribes, an attractive quality for those who love to go out and keep the night young. Starting in the 1950s, Lapa has been called "Montmartre Carioca." Intellectuals, artists, politicians, and especially the people of Rio have come together to celebrate samba, forró, MPB (música popular brasileira), choro, and more recently, electronic music and rock.

The major thoroughfares, Mem de Sá, Rua do Riachuelo, and Lavradio, present attractions such as the Sala Cecília Meireles, considered one of the best concert venues for chamber music in Rio.

The Public Promenade, the National School of Music, the Church of Our Lady of Lapa do Desterro, and the Escadaria Selarón stand as monuments for tourists who want to sample the architecture of old Rio.



Popular nightlife attractions include the famous Asa Branca, the main stronghold of forró; Bar Semente, where artists such as Teresa Cristina and the group Casuarina have performed; Ernesto; Sacrilégio Café Cultural; Rio Scenarium; and Carioca da Gema, where samba reigns supreme. The venue Lapa 40 Graus recently opened on Rua do Riachuelo, next to the traditional Democratic Club, providing space for dancing samba, choro, and gafieira. People who prefer electronic music and rock concerts can enjoy the Progress and Casting Flying Circus, which opened in 2004. There are also a plethora[quantify] of bars and venues that cater to all tastes.


  1. ^ "Walking through Rio – A tale of many cities". World Footprints. Retrieved 7 July 2024.