Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca is a borough in the city capital of state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and also denominates an administrative region in which we find Barra de Tijuca as a borought along with some others like: Joá, Itanhangá, Camorim, Vargem pequena, Vargem grande, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Grumari.

Sports like Surf, Kite surfing and body boarding are often practiced there, with the chance to learn them in the numerous schools in the area. Championships (national and international) are often held at Barra da Tijuca many times during the year, also surfing.

Barra is well known for American influences in its style of life, and is commonly seem like Miami Beach.

Etymology

The name Barra da Tijuca is composed of two words, "Barra" and "Tijuca", and the preposition "da". "Barra" means port entrancy, sandbank, and "Tijuca" is a word originally from the Tupi "ty-yúc" and means putrid water, mud, swamp, puddle, clay or clay-pit. The preposition "da" means of, from. So, the name Barra da Tijuca can be roughly translated as 'Swamp Sandbank'.

History

The neighbourhood area was originally a sandbank, composed of white sand dunes covered by shrubby vegetation. In its central sand stripe extends the Avenida das Américas, a section of BR-101 motorway, along which the neighbourhood started to grow.

In 1969 the neighbourhood's pilot plan project began, elaborated by Lúcio Costa. The project foresaw the construction of two avenues, Avenida das Américas and Avenida Ayrton Senna, beside a regulation to the Barra da Tijuca and adjacent neighbourhoods, with the limitation of the buildings' maximum height and the creation of conservation areas. In the middle of the 1970s, there were already some isolated enclosed condominiums in the middle of the predominant vegetation, with some small- and medium-sized business organizations.

During the 1980s Barra da Tijuca had a population explosion, with virtually all the ground plots along its avenues being occupied by large residential areas, parks, supermarkets, shopping malls, schools and hospitals. The avenues were duplicated and received traffic signs. At this time there was an emancipation movement of Barra da Tijuca and its bordering neighborhoods, but the plebiscite result was unfavourable.

Today, the region has established itself as the most important of the city's middle- and upper-class real estate attraction area, which adopted a lifestyle inspired by the American suburbs, based in blocks of flats and townhouses, cars and shopping centres. The resulting employment opportunities also attracted favelas. Due to the Rio de Janeiro city downtown real estate degradation and plastering, Barra also attracted an increasing number of companies, most of them of the petroleum sector.

As of 2005, a new Rio de Janeiro concert room is being built in Barra da Tijuca, named 'Cidade da Música' (Music City), inspired by the Cité de la Musique located at La Villette park, in Paris. The invited architect, Christian de Portzamparc, is the author of the original Cité de la Musique project.

There is one courthouse located in Barra da Tijuca, called Fórum da Barra. Inside the building there are both civil and criminal courts.

Several universities have a campus in the neighborhood, including Universidade Estácio de Sá, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Universidade Gama Filho, Universidade Veiga de Almeida and Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais.

hopping & entertainment

There are several shopping malls in the neighborhood, the most notable being the BarraShopping, the New York City Center, the Via Parque Shopping and the 'Downtown'. There are also smaller-sized shopping malls, such as Barra Square and Barra Point.

Most of the cinemas and restaurants of the neighborhood are located inside the shopping malls. An amusement park, called Parque Terra Encantada, is located in the neighborhood.

Barra da Tijuca hosts many supermarkets, including Wal-Mart, Extra, Bon Marché, Carrefour and Makro.

In Barra is the largest convention center in South America, Riocentro. The largest shopping mall too, BarraShopping, with over 650 shops, and its own monorail system. Instead of supermarkets you have hypermarkets, with thousand of square feet. Add theme parks, - like "Rio Water Planet", also the biggest water theme park in Latin America-, natural reserves with wild birds and alligators, preserved beaches with limited access to cars, and you start to get an idea of the possibilities.

There are 3 main avenues in Barra: Avenida das Américas (which connects almost all Barra, Avenida Ayrton Senna (former Avenida Alvorada, which connects Barra to Jacarepaguá neighbourhood) and Avenida Sernambetiba (which passes along the beach). In all directions, the view includes lakes and mountais, or even the sea. The connection works of Barra with the rest of the urban network, transposing the Maciço da Tijuca (Lagoa-Barra highway and Via Amarela) are among the most expensive works already carried out in Rio, confirming the city's road transport choice.

Barra in sports

The football (soccer) club Barra da Tijuca Futebol Clube derives its name from the suburb, but its headquarters are located in neighbouring Recreio dos Bandeirantes.

The football club Vasco da Gama's training ground, called "Vasco Barra", is also located in Barra.

Three major Associations' headquarters are located in Barra da Tijuca: the Brazilian Football Confederation, the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation and Brazilian Olympic Committee.

The "Golden Green Golf Club" provides three-par six-hole court greens open to outside players with illumination for night play.

Surf competitions, such as Rio Marathon Surf Internacional, Festival Petrobras de Surfe, Campeonato Velox Surf Amador and Circuito Petrobras are held in Barra. There are several surfing schools in the neighbourhood are evidence of the popularity of this sport with the locals.

The Aero Clube do Brasil provides parachuting experiences. The "Rio Sport Center" offers tennis courts to the public. "Barrashopping" and "Barra Square" are home to bowling alleys.

There are several places where beach and court volleyball are practised. The Escolinha do Bernard is located in Barra.

The famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy Gracie Barra, takes its name and originates from Barra.

The numerous condos also offer several others sports courts for its residents and sometimes for outsiders either.

The beach

The 18 km long beach is the largest Rio de Janeiro beach. Barra da Tijuca beach starts at Morro do Joá and ends at the Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighbourhood, in Pontal de Sernambetiba, beyond Avenida Sernambetiba. Most of its waters are clear and green, and have an uncommon wave formation. The pollution levels are growing quickly, most of it originating at Canal da Joatinga, and it is estimated that in 2007 [http://www.cidadedabarra.com.br/jun03/meioamb.htm] it will reach Avenida Ayrton Senna. Barra da Tijuca beach is one of the most sought after beaches by surfers, windsurfers, bodyboarders and fishing enthusiasts. There is also a cycle lane along the beach.

ee also

*List of upscale shopping districts

References

*Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent Portuguese-language Wikipedia article (retrieved August 19, 2005).

External links

* [http://www.barradatijuca.com.br/ Barra da Tijuca Guide]
* [http://www.barradatijuca.com.br/si/site/0700 Restaurant Guide]
* [http://www.barradatijuca.com.br/si/site/1000 Hotel in Barra da Tijuca]
* [http://www.feth.ggf.br/Barra.htm Barra da Tijuca: O Concebido e o Realizado]
* [http://www.worldmostbeautifulbeaches.com/Brazil-Beaches-Barra-da-Tijuca-Travel-Information.htm Barra Da Tijuca Beach Guide]
* [http://www.acibarra.org.br/historia.htm Barra Online]
* [http://www.pitoresco.com.br/consultoria/variedades/12.htm A Barra da Tijuca que conheci at Pitoresco]


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