Praça XV (Quinze)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Doni Clemons

This square was named Praça XV (Quinze) de Novembro after Brazil declared itself a republic on November 15, 1822. Before this, the square was known as Largo do Carmo and later The Palace Square (Praça do Palácio). Several events important to Brazil’s history have taken place here, like the coronation of Brazil's two Emperors (Pedro I and Pedro II), the abolition of slavery and the overthrow (deposition) of Emperor Dom Pedro II in 1889. The square is bordered on one side by the Guanabara Bay and the other by the Rua Primeiro deMarço- which used to be the busiest street in Rio. The Royal Palace (Palácio Real), which was the former home and government building of past Kings is now the largest existing building in Praça XV. Today the plaza is bustling with businessmen and women that work in the area. Others meet in the restaurants surrounding the plaza for lunch. Also, the ferry station to Niteroi is located here and many people who live in Niteroi and work in downtown Rio arrive to Praça XV for their commute. On Saturdays this is the place where hundreds of bargain hunters, collectors gather to buy and sell antique and vintage goods. Although the praca is busy during the day with 9 to 5ers, it is all but empty at night except when skateboarders gather and do tricks on steps and ramps.


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