Rio Guide

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Arches of Lapa: the ancient Carioca Aqueduct

Arches of Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

This impressive Roman-style aqueduct, also called the Carioca Aqueduct, was built in 1723, at the time of colonial Brazil. Located in Centro, Arcos da Lapa was supposed to solve the big issue of water supply in the city of Rio. Indios and African slaves worked to build the 42 stone arches composing the aqueduct, which is 270 mts long and nearly 40 mts high. Since 1896 this huge architectural work has been also used as a viaduct for the new cable cars climbing up the hill of Santa Teresa. The famous yellow cable car (Bondinho de Santa Teresa) crowded with people became the symbol of the neighborhood. Unfortunately on August the 27th 2011 a tragic accident caused the death of 6 people, and the bonde service was suspended.


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