In this edition of Rolé Carioca, we will recover the old limits of the neighborhood of Andaraí, which was once called Andaraí Grande and is now reduced to a few blocks. Along the way, we will see remnants of the memory of one of Rio's first working districts. Three generations of 'foreigners' - freed slaves, poor immigrants and the Northeasterners - have reinvented Carioca's way of being.
Originally inhabited by the tamoios, the valley surrounded by hills of the Andaraí meant higher lands and less rainforest for the natives. Already in the Portuguese occupation, small farms occupied the environment and served to supply sugar producers, between Engenho Velho in Largo da Segunda, and Engenho Novo, in the Barão de Bom Retiro.
The Andaraí gains a different characteristic with the opening of the Andaraí Grande road. The current Baron de Mesquita interconnected with the Center of Rio and attracted immigrants: Portuguese, Spanish and German settled in the area, not as valued as Tijuca and Vila Isabel. As it had in São Cristóvão, Benfica and other localities near the center, the industries multiplied. América Fabril, Confiança, Lanifício Ideal found in Andaraí a perfect combination: water for production, connection with the Guanabara Bay, immigrant levies to the factories and displaced from the center in search of work and housing - built on the slopes and rented by the most powerful immigrants.
Factories dominated the region until the 1960s, when environmental issues and the formation of new poles moved industries away from the center. The chimneys were visible, visible in the "Tijolinho" and the "Boulevard Extra". Since then, the history of Andaraí has been better known for fueling the city's chronicle of violence, despite the soft references in soap operas and songs.
Image: Geiger, Pedro Pinchas, 1923-; Jablonsky, Tibor/1958/Acervo IBGE