Stroll Through the Spectacular Quinta a Boa Vista

South America - Editor - 29 October 2007

Stroll Through the Spectacular Quinta a Boa Vista

The Quinta da Boa Vista (Park of the Nice View) is a public park situated in the exotic city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This beautiful park is of great historical significance to the city. In the 19th century, the park formed part of the gardens surrounding the official residence of the Emperors of Brazil, the Paço de São Cristóvão (Palace of Saint Christopher).

Established in 1818 by King John VI of Portugal, the National Museum was relocated to the palace in 1892. From the time of its establishment, the collections in the museum have been expanded through acquisitions and donations, with benefactors including Emperor Pedro II who had a great interest in the sciences. Visitors to the museum can explore fascinating collections relating to archeology, astronomy, paleontology, ethnology and natural history.

The Quinta da Boa Vista also incorporates the Zoological Gardens of Rio de Janeiro that accommodates over 2,000 species of animals, with an exceptional collection of Brazilian monkeys and birds. The Rio Zoo is the oldest in Brazil having been inaugurated in 1945 under the patronage of President Getulio Vargas.

In the early 19th century, wealthy Portuguese merchant, Elias António Lopes, owned the land that the park currently occupies. In 1803 he built a beautiful manor house on top of a hill with a superb view of Guanabara Bay. In 1808 Lopes donated his farm, complete with the manor house to Prince Regent John VI who spent a great deal of his time there with his family. At this time the farm was surrounded by swamps and mangroves and was relatively far from the city. With the growth of Rio de Janeiro, the farm was eventually incorporated into a suburb of the city. Under the rule of various members of royalty over the years, the palace was renovated and extended until the declaration of the Republic of Brazil in 1889 caused the royals to leave Brazil. After standing deserted for a time, the building was used in 1891 by Brazilian politicians while they wrote the first Republican Constitution of the country. From 1892 onward the palace was converted into a museum.

Currently the Quinta da Boa Vista, with its green areas, lakes and beautiful old trees, is an oasis of tranquility and a very popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. A walk through the park and the museum brings to mind the long history that has shaped the beautiful country of Brazil.


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