By Shalina Chatlani, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nestled within Rio’s Centro, and sitting beside Catete and Flamengo (in Zona Sul), Glória offers the architectural grandeur of the 19th century within a modern and eclectic setting, which spills over from the bohemian area of Santa Teresa just above it.
Serving as one of the most important centers in Rio’s formation, Glória, as well as its history, dates all the way back to the 16th century. At the base of Glória Hill, in fact, there existed a village for Tupí people called Karioca, a site that would eventually lend its name to the characteristic demonym of Rio’s inhabitants: Carioca.
While it lost some of its appeal after the construction of a tunnel in the early 20th century to the neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema, Glória has regained its former glory. The area has once again ignited the interest of Cariocas with its beautiful colonial era houses and mansions, museums, churches, and location, hugging the scenic Marina da Glória.
For both visitors to and residents of the city, Glória offers a range of exciting activities, nightlife options, and beautiful sites. Lorraine Coolidge, a U.S. expatriate who co-founded the Discovery Hostel in Glória four years ago, feels it is a wonderful part of Rio to live in.
“The best part of living in Glória is the location. It is walking distance to so many places (Santa Teresa, Centro, Lapa, Flamengo park and beach, etc.). Additionally, it is quite centralized on the metro, so you can quickly get anywhere in the city, whether its Maracanã [football soccer] stadium or Copacabana,” said Coolidge. “Not to mention how beautiful it is, with Parque do Paris, Parque do Flamengo, Igreja Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro overlooking it all.”
Among the attractions in Glória is a visit to the Church of Our Lady Glória, which was built in the 18th century and overlooks the Parque do Flamengo (Flamengo Park), The Monumento aos Mortos da Segunda Guerra Mundial (Monument to the Fallen of the Second World War), the Praça Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), which can be accessed from the Marina da Glória as a starting point.
Although Glória, which was once one of the most important aristocratic areas of Rio, became somewhat neglected after the capital of Brazil moved to Brasília, new investments have poured into the neighborhood.
As a result of greater attention and interest, as well as the installation of a Public Order Unit (UOP) in 2012 that patrols the neighborhood as part of the Operação Choque de Ordem (Operation Shock and Order), Glória has become safer and hence more valuable in terms of real estate.
Prices in this area are a bit cheaper than Zona Sul (South Zone) but have still gone up with inflation,” Lorraine Coolidge summarized. “Transportation is still the same; great location with a well located metro. Security has improved a little with more presence in police now that the Lapa police were created and the police station in Catete re-opened.”
Nonetheless, Glória has still suffered from the consequences of Brazil’s tough economic times, with real estate prices dropping since last year. The average apartment purchase price per square meter has dropped since last December by about 1.6 percent, reaching R$10,135 in October 2015.
The rental prices per month have fallen by 8.6 percent in the same period, reaching a similar level as one earlier with an average R$38 per square meter in October, according to FipeZap.