“The residence of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, singer Gabriela Bezanzoni, during the 1920's Lage had the mansion remodeled by Italian architect Mario Vodrel, with interior paintings by Salvador Payols Sabaté.”
Camillo and I were sitting on the veranda after lunch and he says to me, “What are you posting for FSO this week?” This is, of course, a very good question. In fact it is the only question. Being Thursday afternoon and tomorrow morning we travel to Teresopolis for a churrasco with friends on Saturday. And given that we will stay in a simple Pousada, and I imagine there will not be Internet service or the inclination to post while enjoying new scenery. It is is now or never.
I tell Camillo about my lack of inspiration in Friburgo’s niches or coffee shops and how it was too bad we are in Friburgo this week because maybe Rio would have something interesting. He asks does it have to be here? Because wasn’t there a man sitting beside a fountain reading in…. and a statue of a man with a book in….. He quickly rattles of five or so possible photos he already knows are in my archives ….. Rats. Now what is my excuse. His comments get me thinking though and here I am with a ‘hidden garden’.
A couple years ago Camillo and I decided to see what there was to offer at the Parque Lage. Once the private home for a VERY rich industrialist, now a school for the visual arts, Parque Lage is free to the public and is a great way to spend a couple of hours exploring. (taking photos too, of course) The park is within walking distance of the Botanical Gardens and practically in the shadow of the Christ. Actually, there is a trail from the park, up through the natural growth forest to the Christ. I asked several athletic types to take me up a couple of times and they tell me it is a hard walk. “Taking a taxi up is better” was the last answer, I am thinking they think I am too old…..
Back to the park – The mansion (now the school) is beautiful. The front portico’s columns are of Italian Marble. Inside in the center courtyard, is a café for a coffee or a light lunch. There used to be a reflecting pond in the center of the building but when we were visiting had been covered – maybe it was temporary. We have to go back and see. The floor, counter and stalls in the lady’s room were large slabs of marble. The floors of the, very Italian looking, walkway around the courtyard was made of brightly colored terrazzo. The grounds surrounding the house has a trail winding up into the forest, an old cave that was once the laundry room with spring water for clear rinsing, and what looks like Rapunzel's tower – being absorbed by the forest. The access to the tower is closed off to foot traffic but the camera lens can get to it. The walk through the gardens takes about an hour – a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
take a full tour with the slide show….