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Surrounded by Jardim Botanico, Leblon, Rocinha and São Conrado, Gávea is predominantly residential, but there are good outdoor activities and nightlife options every day of the week.

The neighborhood owes its name to a rock, standing some 2625 feet tall, that resembles a topsail (gávea) on an old sailing boat.

The area’s busiest street, home to most attractions, is Rua Marques de São Vicente. The main routes into Gavea from the Zona SuI run along Rua Jardim Botanico and Avenida Bartolomeu Mitre.

From Barra da Tijuca and São Conrado, take Auto Estrada Lagoa-Barra, through the Túnel Zuzu Angel, which goes under the Conjunto Residencial Marques de São Vicente apartment complex.

Map of Rio de Janeiro City

Map of Gávea RJ

Map of Gavea RJ


The imposing Jockey Club, designed in an offbeat style by Francisco Cuchet and Arquimedes Memória, opened in 1926, with the name Hipodromo da Gávea. Part of the club is reserved for members and their guests, but entry to the public area is free, and there are betting booths.


A Gavea landmark, the so-called Praҫa do Jockey (Jockey Square) has gardens, a fountain and a children ’s playground.

The square is surrounded by bars, pubs and restaurants – a dense district called Baixo Gávea – that stay open till the early hours to serve the youthful clientele.


This shopping mall mainly caters to families with children interested in amusements and electronic games. Its main attractions are the theaters: Teatro dos Quatro, Teatro das Artes, Teatro Clara Nunes and Teatro Vanucci, which put on plays and live music shows for all ages. These tend to sell out days before an event, so it’s essential to buy tickets in advance.

The mall’s stores feature famous labels, especially in women’s fashion.


The Planetarium, which is considered to be one of the most modern in Latin America, has two domes.

One, the Universarium VIII planetarium, measures 75 feet in diameter and can display up to 9,000 projected stars. The other dome, with a 41-foot diameter, houses Spacemaster.

The equipment in that planetarium can simulate the movements of stars and can recreate a sky with 6,500 stars. There is also the Museu do Universo, with dozens of interactive experiments, including a kinetic sculpture of the solar system.

After a night session, extend your visit to include a stop at 00 (Zero Zero). This open-air bar-restaurant serves Mediterranean food with Asian Gavea’s planetarium is modern and well equipped accents, and DJs liven up the dance floor with electronica and rock music (take the entrance at Avenida Padre Leonel Franca, 240, Gávea.


This is the site of the first Catholic university in Brazil. Founded in 1941, and officially accredited in 1946, Rio’s Pontificia Universidade Católica (PUC-Rio) opened its Gavea campus in 1955.

Its 23 departments have educa ted such individuals as composer Edu Lobo, filmmakers Caca Diegues and Walter Salles,journalist Arnaldo Jabor, and actor Jose Wilker. The economic team that developed the PIano Real, a 1990s economic plan to stabilize Brazil’s currency, also graduated from PUC.

Throughout the year, the university opens its doors to the public for cultural events, talks, exhibitions and book fairs.

The campus houses Solar Grandjean de Montigny, the residence of French architect Grandjean de Montigny. This is one of the few places in the city that preserves his work. This grand neoclassical house has become a cultural center, with exhibition rooms and a library specializing in art, architecture and design. Rua Marques de São Vicente, 225, Gávea.


Formerly the residence of the Moreira Salles family, this lovely modernist building now houses a renowned arts institute. Architect Olavo Redig de Campos designed the building, and Burle Marx completed the landscaping and the mosaic behind the outside fountain.

The architecture, with extensive gardens cut through by a stream, is a sight in itself. The building houses an important cultural center, with a cinema, exhibition rooms, cafe, art shop and studio, in addition to a large music and photography collection. The Reserva Tecnica
Musical includes at least 100,000 recordings dating back as far as 1922, including songs by Noel Rosa, Orlando Silva, Pixinguinha, Ernesto Nazaré, and Chiquinha Gonzaga.

The Reserva Tecnica Fotografica has more than 450,000 photographs by artists such as Marc Ferrez, Georges Leuzinger, Marcel Gautherot, and Jose Medeiros. Visits to the photo collection should be arranged in advance.

IMS also has a literature and visual arts collection, with 600 modern and contemporary paintings. Its collection includes the Highcliffe album, one of the most valuable collections from 19th -century Brazil, Ukiyo-e, a collection of 18th and 19th -century Japanese engravings, watercolors by the Danish artist Paul Harro-Harring, and a Pernambuco landscape that Frans Post painted in 1667.

The program of events is available on the institute website, www.ims.com.br , Rua Marques de São Vicente, 476, Gávea.


This museum stands in the Parque da Cidade and tells the history of Rio de Janeiro from the very beginning.

Marques de São Vicente was the original owner of the building that houses the museum.

Built in 1809 with just one story, its second floor was added at the end of the 19th -century, and 1995 renovation improved the roof, verandas, and floor.

The original decorative painting was rediscovered during this renovation.

The permanent exhibition includes a model of Rio around the time it was founded, as well as photographs of the old museum buildings, statues, and sculptures from the 18th -century onwards, armor from 15th and 16th centuries, paintings, porcelain tableware and furniture from the Imperial Palace, as well as a cattlebranding iron, a whipping cane, shackles, and other items from the slavery era.

Temporary exhibitions also rotate through the museum, which has had 24-hour guards since a highprofile robbery occurred during the 2006 carnival.

The Capela de São João Batista, a chapel built in 1920, stands on the same grounds. Inside, painter Carlos Bastos incorporated figures of people from his daily life into a painting of the life of Saint John the Baptist. The work caused great controversy and remains unfinished. Estrada de Santa Marinha, Gávea.


Gávea was one of the first neighborhoods in Rio to acquire modern architecture, although much of it has since been demolished. The residences known as Conjunto Residencial Marques de São Vicente, for example, were designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy in 1952 to be much more substantial than they are.

Only one portion of his plan was built, and it was then radically modified a few years later. Funding constraints caused him to dispense with elevators, so residents had to reach the duplex apartments on the upper floors via an esplanade.

The most unusual aspect of the building is its tunnel. Cars go under the building through the Zuzu Angel Tunnel , which was built some years later along Avenida Padre Leonel Franca.

Despite its modern design, Hélio Fraga’s residence at Rua Cedro, 34, which Carlos Leão designed in 1951, uses elements from earlier architectural periods. The courtyard that unites the entire space is a good example of this.

Lúcio Costa designed Helena Costa’s residence, at Rua Caio Mário, 200, as a gift for his daughter. This house also harmoniously combines modern and traditional elements, including Arab- style latticed windows, porches, balconies, skylights, and concrete verandas.

The highlight of Martin Holmeister’s residence at Avenida Jaime Silvado, 20, is the garden designed by Eurle Marx.

In 1955, Paulo Everard Nunes Pires, Paulo F. dos Santos, and Paulo de Tarso F. dos Santos designed the house, as well as a carefully constructed faҫade that shields it from the afternoon sun.

Map of Parque Nacional da Tijuca

Map of Parque Nacional da Tijuca

Gávea travel guide and tourism information such as festivals, maps, activities and attractions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Brazil Travel Guide

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