Largo do Boticário's Peculiar History
Before you start the ascent of Corcovado, walk around the unusual Largo do Boticario and delve into its history
Gateway to a stranger part Río
Cosme Velho is one of Río de Janeiro's smaller neighbourhoods. It is situated on the hilltops, and you can reach it by taking the train up Corcovado Mountain. It is home to one of the most loved corners of the city, Largo do Boticário, a well-known square on the other side of the Carioca River. The area has an extraordinary history, as it has nothing to do with the Portuguese colonial era, even though there are many reminders of this historical Brazilian period. The land was bought at the start of the 20th century by the wealthy Bittencourt family, who filled it with neoclassical-style buildings and other authentic colonial motifs, such as lamps, tiles, stones and wrought iron. They even used authentic colonial materials from other buildings in Río de Janeiro, that would have otherwise been destroyed. The beauty of this place was recognised by Lewis Gilbert, who used the area to shoot several scenes from his 1979 film Moonraker, in which Roger Moore played the role of James Bond. The name of the Boticário cosmetic brand was named after Joaquim Luís da Silva Souto who, until 1831, ran the former pharmacy situated on one of the surrounding streets.
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