Largo Do Boticario

Largo Do Boticario (40)

You're in one of the most charming places in Rio de Janeiro. Praça do Boticário, known as Largo do Boticário, is located in the neighbourhood of Cosme Velho, near one of the train stations that take you up to Corcovado.

Despite the style of its colourful buildings, this square was built in the early 20th century thanks to the Bittencourt family, who bought the land in the 1920s. Their taste for neoclassical design and the Portuguese colonial style of the previous century, and even the use of other authentic colonial motifs, such as lamps, tiles, stones and wrought iron from other buildings in Río de Janeiro, gives it an appearance that whisks you back to 19th-century Brazil.

Its name, Largo do Boticário, came from the pharmacist Joaquim Luís da Silva, who, until 1831, ran the pharmacy that was frequented by the Portuguese royal family and is situated on one of the streets surrounding the square. Don't go in search of the remains of this pharmacy, because it no longer exists.

Because of its state of disrepair, with peeling paint and moss stains, it is impossible not to notice that the passage of time has taken its toll on the famous square. But that in itself makes it charming. The little secrets and oddities that are hidden behind these worn façades and the buildings that appear to be swallowed up by the vegetation, charms and captivates many a visitor. It is perhaps this hidden charm that led Lewis Gilbert, the director of the famous 1989 film Moonraker, to film several scenes of the film here. Stroll round the square for a while and pretend you're the famous spy James Bond.

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