Largo do Catete


Rua Senador Vergueiro and Largo do Catete (currently Praça José de Alencar), Flamengo, in 1865. To the left, the Hotel dos Estrangeiros.

The biggest modification to the plaza was with the canalization of the Carioca river, during the Pereira Passos government, between 1903 and 1906, and the construction of the metro in the 1970s, which made most of the buildings disappear. The church (see below) is all that remains.

Photographer: Georges Leuzinger.
Collection: Instituto Moreira Salles.


Praça José de Alencar, Flamengo, 1906. View from the Hotel dos Estrangeiros.

In the back, the Rua Conde de Baependi. On the corner of the praça, left side, the first methodist temple in Brazil, inaugurated in 1882. In the center of the image, a statue of the writer José de Alencar. The praça was known as Largo do Catete. In 1897 its name changed (to José de Alencar) with the arrival of the statue of sculptor Rodolfo Bernadelli. On the right side, one can see the Nossa Senhora da Glória Church, at Largo do Machado, in the neighboring Catete.

Photographer: A. Ribeiro.
Collection: G. Ermakoff

Sources: O Rio de Janeiro Que Não Vivi & Rio Antigo

Hotel dos Estrangeiros

Built in 1849, located on the present-day Ruas Senador Vergueiro and Barão do Flamengo, it was likely inspired by the Pharoux and its success. Providing first-class services, it offered novelties as well, such as private telephones in guests’ quarters.

With its rise in popularity, it became the meeting place for politicians and was the stage of the assassination of Senator Pinheiro Machado in 1915. The politician was stabbed in the back by a man in the hotel’s lobby, with his last words being “Canalha! Apunhalaram-me!” The man who killed him would later say it was his only crime in life, that he acted alone, and did a service to the entire country because the senator was a bad man.

The hotel’s popularity, however, didn’t suffer from the event and continued til April 1950, at which point it went bankrupt and was subsequently demolished. The Edifício Simón Bolivar apartment complex would later take its place, though now it’s the Restaurante Planalto.





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Pics 1-6 are of Hotel dos Estrangeiros
1. 1875 / 2. 1904 / 3 & 4. 1915 / 5. Late 1910s / 6. Then vs. Now / 7. 1906-2005



2 thoughts on “Largo do Catete

  1. Pingback: Hotel Pharoux – Rio’s First | Rio Then

  2. Pingback: Memories of a Hotel Rat | Rio Then

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