Architectural heritage in Brazilian cities

Brazilian cities have buildings that are actual portraits of the country’s history. Some small cities, such as Tiradentes, in Minas Gerais, preserve their architectural heritage so well that an unpretentious walk through their streets becomes an exciting trip to the past. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of the big cities. Many historic buildings are in terrible conditions of conservation, darkened by air pollution and lacking paint, broken doors and windows and even worse internal conditions. It is even more unusual to find preserved houses.

It is necessary to create a new culture of conservation of historic architectural heritage in Brazil, so that every citizen feels like taking good care of what belongs, culturally, to everyone, and reflects what we have been in the past, what we are, and what we are going to be. Doing that requires motivating, by using educational and communicational tools, people to think about changing their attitude.

Restoring architectural heritage in the urban environment is as important as restoring great works of art that have been damaged by time and neglect. Doing that is essential to allow future generations to see their history and the origins of the national culture, which is possible in many European countries – think about the ruins of Athens and Rome or the beautiful monuments and buildings of Paris and London, for example. Such heritage cannot become old, ugly and disturbing. It should be admired and attract tourism and commercial activities.

The December issue of Piauí magazine included a text about an economist that started to restore old houses in Rio de Janeiro and made that a profitable business. Besides making the city more beautiful, such activity avoids the destruction of those buildings and prevents them from becoming symbols of the careless treatment that is given to urban environment. Click here to read about that interesting experience and learn more about the subject.

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