One of my favorite places ever visited is the incredible Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro’s South zone. Here in this wonderful old house, which was once the home of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, Gabriella Besanzoni, who was a singer. there is now an Art College offering course in Art, photography and more. The contemporary approach of the Art school sits perfectly with the beautiful, formally designed grounds. For me this is a fantastic place to visit when staying in the incredible city of Rio de Janeiro.
The interior and courtyard feature exhibited Art works from the college which have a contemporary approach and sit in fine contrast to the elegant and yet ornate interior style of the house and yard. There is also a beautiful cafe overlooking the beautiful courtyard pool which was so famously featured in the Pharrell and Snoop Dogg video ‘Beautiful’.
The ground feature large expanses of tropical planting with curving walkways leading to many interesting features. Fascinating caves set into the rock, a folly on a small pond, steps leading up to a beautiful pond that once had ducks. You will be likely to see monkeys and even Toucans here on the amazing grounds which are at the edge of the Tijuca Rainforest.
The house itself was remodeled in the 1920’s by the Italian Architect Mario Vodrel and has many stunning features and the art created by the students of the Art school sits beautifully in its surroundings.
The most fascinating thing here for me is the connection the park and also the building has with the Corcovado, the statue of Christ the Redeemer which is perched on the mountain behind it, a humbling appearance when the clouds part and frame the famous statue so high above the building. It shows that this was so wonderfully thought about when the house was conceived and showing how important it is that it is open to the public.
Parque Lage is open to visitors 9am -7pm and is free of charge.