The path of this Rolé Carioca will take show us the most representative street from colonial Rio, once named Rua Direita (Straight Street). Historical evidence tells that this used to be the way made by the temiminós indigenes long before the Portuguese colonizers. When the city seat established in Castelo during the 16th century it increased the route circulation, which would receive the first constructions: the religious Carmelite order, a wharf and the Santa Cruz fortress. Around the 17th century the erection of landlord mansions, as those owned by Correias de Sá, Benevides, and Teles de Menezes (of which derives the Teles Arch), gave a new use of the surroundings. Other buildings were made in the new colonial capital: the customhouse (now Casa França-Brasil), the Casa dos Contos and Governors House which later would become the Imperial Palace.
In 1808, following the escape of the Portuguese court, Rio began to circulate on Direita (Straight Street). Carmo Church was elevated to Cathedral and the Palace sheltered the newly arrived until it became a dispatch point for the royal family in Brazil. As the center of business and fashion, this place received products derived from the port that used to fulfill the local aristocrats’ dream of resembling the Europeans. Between Carmo and Ouvidor coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries started to appear – on of them had such a public that gave it’s name to the passage long after they disappeared. During the Republic, being Primeiro de Março already, the avenue acquired the present form through a series of embankments. In Praça XV, the Valentim fountain was put apart from the edge of the harbor and, since the Castelo disassembly, it gave space to expand the city’s railroad.
Image: BN Digital