Make the most of this square by taking some time to relax whilst you find out a bit more about the history of its buildings
A square with history
Influenced by American Independence and the French Revolution, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier was one of the first leaders of the Brazilian Liberation Movement. His plan to end Portuguese control led him to jail, and in 1792, to the gallows. In 1890, nearly a century later, the name Tiradentes (Charlatan) was given to this square, as tribute to the Brazilian. This name was the derogatory nickname used for the leader during the trial that sentenced him to death. Paradoxically, this area in Río de Janeiro remains plagued by the remnants of former Portuguese colonial power, including the equestrian statue of Pedro I, the first emperor of Brazil. Situated in the centre of the square since 1862, the monument was designed by native artist João Maximiano Mafra and sculpted by Frenchman Louis Rochet. In front of it stands two buildings. One is the João Caetano Theatre, opened in 1813 in honour of Prince Regent Don João VI. The other is the Carlos Gomes Theatre, which has suffered three fires and multiple reconstructions throughout its history, dating back to 1872. Both theatres have each changed their names over time to coincide with the cultural splendour that existed in this part of the city in the first few decades of the 1900s.
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