Long, enclosed with stone walls, crossed by a number of iron bridges and bordered by lines of royal palms. The most famous street of the old city is the Rua do Ouvidor, running westward from the market-place to the Largo de Sao Francisco de Paula, and lined with retail shops, cafés and newspaper offices.
The principal business street is the Rua Primeiro de Marco, formerly called Rua Direita, which extends from the Praca 15 de Novembro northward to Sao Bento Hill.
The new Praca do Commercia (Merchants' Exchange) and Post Office on Rua 1 ° de Marco, and the national printing office near the Largo da Carioca, are notable examples.
Among many other churches, usually plain and bare of interior decoration, are the popular Sao Francisco de Paula church, on the square of that name; the Carmo church in Rua 1 ° de Marco; the Cruz dos Militares church in the same street; the Rosario church in the street of that name, belonging to a fraternity of negroes and once occupied by the episcopal chapter; and the prettily situated octagonal Gloria church on a hill of that name overlooking the lower bay.
The British residents have an unpretentious chapel in Rua Evaristo da Veiga, the Methodists a more modern structure on the Largo do Cattete and the Presbyterians a chapel near Praga Tiradentes.
The palace of justice, on Rua Primeiro de Margo, is one of the finest edifices in the city; and the ministry of industry and public works, on the south side of the Praga 15 de Novembro may be noticed.
The ministry of finance is in the Treasury building on Rua do Sacramento - an immense structure of no special architectural merit.
The Senate occupies a plain unattractive building on the west side of the Praga da Republica, and the Chamber of Deputies an ugly colonial building in Rua da Misericordia, originally used as a city hall and jail.
There are a number of theatres, but the city had no large theatre of architectural merit previous to the construction of the Municipal Theatre at the intersection of the Avenida Central with Rua 13 de Maio, with an elegant marble facade in the French Renaissance style.
Other notable buildings are the ornate Monroe palace at the intersection of the Central and Beira-Mar avenues, the Praca do Commercio (Commercial Exchange) on Rua 1 ° de Margo, the Caixa da Amortizagao on the Avenida Central, the custom-house with its extensive warehouses, the terminal station of the Central railway at the N.W.
Pedro II., is a boys' college of a high school grade, located on Rua Floriano Peixoto, with an 'internato or boarding-school in Rua de S.
One of the most noteworthy schools of the city is the Lycen de Artes e Officios, located on Rua 13 de Maio, opposite the operahouse; it dates from 1858 and has been the means of giving instruction to a multitude of clerks, artisans and others, through its night classes.
There are also a number of private hospitals maintained by church brotherhoods and charitable associations; among them are the Portuguese hospital in Rua de Santo Amaro and the Strangers' Hospital (American and British) in Botafogo.
In the work of improving the city, the national government assumed the expense of the commercial quays, the filling of the Sao Christovao bay, the opening of the Mangue canal and its embellishment, the opening of the Avenida Central, the extension of the sewage system and the addition of new sources to the water supply, while the city was responsible for the Avenida Beira-Mar, the opening of a new avenue from the Largo da Lapa westward to Rua Frei Caneca, the removal of the Morro do Senado, the widening of some streets crossing the Avenida Central and the opening and straightening of other streets.
Among its notable public buildings and institutions are the old government palace in Santo Antonio built upon the foundations of the official residence of Prince Maurice of Nassau, with a pretty garden attached; a theatre facing upon the Praga da Republica, dating from the second empire; the palace of the Provincial Assembly in Boa Vista, built in 1860-66, surmounted by a high dome; the municipal palace, or prefecture, on Rua do Imperador, with the public library (Biblioteca Publica) occupying its third floor and containing about 30,000 volumes; the Gymnasium, a large plain building of two floors standing near the legislative palace; the Pedro II.