By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Glória, a residential middle class neighborhood strategically located between Zona Sul (South Zone) and Centro, is one of the most historic areas in Rio de Janeiro with many beautiful art déco buildings. After decades of being overlooked by many, it recently has been seeing a renaissance and return to its past glamor. The Marina da Glória is a popular starting point for boat tours, photo by Pedro Kirilos/Riotur. The neighborhood of Glória lies between Lapa (Centro), and the neighborhoods Catete and Flamengo (Zona Sul), as well as serving as entry point into hillside bohemian district Santa Teresa. “I like Glória, because it’s a very quiet neighborhood. And it is very close to everything, close to the metro, the beach and Centro,” Francivaldo Moraes, a Glória resident told The Rio Times. Glória played an important role in the foundation of the city, as it is said that in the 16th century, the base of Glória hill was a Tupí (native Indian) village called Karioca, which later turned into the modern day name for Rio’s residents: Carioca. Until the middle of the 20th century, Glória was then the heart of Rio’s aristocracy, due to its proximity to the governmental seats in Centro and Catete. It even became known as “the Paris of Rio”, due to the many French-style art déco buildings, and Praça Paris conveys a feeling of Versailles even today, with its trimmed trees, statues and old-fashioned street lamps. Another historic gem is the church of Nossa Senhora da Glória de Outeiro, which gave the area its name and was restored in 2006. From the hilltop where the church stands, one has a wonderful view over the bay onto Niterói. A major change happening in the neighborhood is the famous Hotel Glória. The reportedly first reinforced concrete building to be built in South America and a magnificent building by the same designer as Copacabana Palace, is currently under renovation. Nossa Senhora da Glória gave the neighborhood its name, photo by Rodrigo Soldon/Wikimedia Creative Commons License. Completion of the historic palace has been delayed until 2014, although the building’s future is unclear, as owner Eike Batista is reportedly planning to sell the place. The sea side of Glória is taken up by a park around the Marina de Glória, which serves as starting point of boat tours around the bay and leads up to the Museum of Modern Art. The Marina was built in 1979 and also hosts concerts and events, as well as features an impressive World War II memorial site. Recent visitors Sara and Marianna, World Youth Day pilgrims from Italy, took a moment to describe it to The Rio Times, “It is very characteristic of the city and very different from Italy. It’s beautiful.” After the capital of Brazil had been moved from Rio to Brasília, Glória suffered from a level of neglect, earning a bit of a bad reputation. Yet real estate has seen a rise due to new investments in the area, which can be noted from 2010 onwards. Also, last year, a Public Order Unit (UOP) began patrolling the neighborhood as part of the Operação Choque de Ordem (Operation Shock and Order). “Glória improved a lot recently. It received the UOP, it is a lot cleaner and there was a lot of new construction and renovation,” Mr. Moraes explained. However like much of Rio, especially in Zona Sul, the real estate market has feared a bubble burst. “Prices have increased too much. Especially because most apartments in Glória are not that big,” Mr. Moraes described. In the last twelve months, purchase prices have risen 12.8 percent and in June a square meter cost R$9,161. Rental prices have increased by 9.5 percent in the last year, although the square meter price has seen a drop in June to R$35, placing it at almost the same level as it had been in November 2012. Data showed that this fall was mainly due to a drop in one and two bedroom apartment prices. Larger apartments, although there are fewer in the neighborhood, are still rising in price. 8 Responses to "Glória: Historic Neighborhood Revitalized" Varig72 August 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM When I first married, we lived in Gloria. this was in 1974 and altho the traffic was always busy and noisy on the streets Hermenegildo de Barros and the main street; forget the name of it, I loved the friendliness and openess of the residents there! Since I was an “estrangeira” and spoke horrible Portugues; at least I tried, most of the residents went out of their way to help me! Esp. Senhor Manuel Landeira; who had a shop on Hermengildo de Barros and always practiced some english with me that he learned from Shortwave radio from England and his love for cats, which he had in the upper ranks of his shop; that kept the rats away! RIP Senhor Manuel! 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