Parque Lage is a great alternative to the Botanical Garden if you’re short on time. It’s much smaller, but you experience incredibly lush gardens complete with wildlife like monkeys and iguanas. It’s a great place to grab lunch or coffee. The Visual Arts School building is so photogenic that it features in a Snoop Dog video. Also, the Hike to the Corcovado starts here.
Parque Lage Details
Rua Jardim Botânico, 414, Jardim Botânico – Rio de Janeiro, RJ.
Park: Daily from 8:00 to 17:00 (18:00 during summer)
Bistro: Mon-Fri 9:00-23:00, Sat 13:00-23:00, Sun 9:00-23:00
As usual, it is easiest to take a taxi or Uber. Ask to be dropped off at Parque Lage or "Rua Jardim Botanico, 414". But you can also use the following public transit options.
Parque Lage’s history starts in 1811, when Rodrigo de Freitas Mello purchases a vast piece of land in the area around the lagoon - in fact the big lagoon is still named after Mr. Freitas. The land was until then, used as a sugar cane plant for the king.
In 1859, Antonio Matins Lage purchased a portion of the land, and that’s when it becomes known as Park of the Lage family (Parque dos Lage). The property was briefly sold to a third party in 1913, but Herique Lage, grandson of Antonio Matins Lage, bought it back in 1920.
According to lore, Henrique Lage undertook a massive renovation of the palace built by this grandfather to impress italian opera singer, Gabriella Besanzoni. The Italian arquitect Mario Vodret was in charge of the renovation of the palace and gardens. It was Vodret who gave the palace its eclecticism identity.
The renovation certainly impressed Gabriella Besanzoni and the couple married in 1925. The palace became a hot spot of social life in Rio, hosting grand parties attended by the Rio elite.
Eventually, Herique Lage ran into problems with the Banco do Brasil and was forced to turn over part of the property to the bank and to sell another part to private investors. In order to protect the property, Rio’s Governor, Carlos Lacerda, designed the park as protected historic and artistic patrimony of the state.
In the 1960s part of the property was purchased by a private investor to build the new headquarters of TV Globo. However, the property was appropriated and converted to a public park. In 1975, the Visual Arts School was established at the former place of the Lage Family.
Source: abstracted from wikipedia.com
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