House of the Jurujuba Estate
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The house was the seat of an estate located at a place named Saco in the parish of São João do Carahy. In the mid-18th century, it belonged to João Malheiro Reimão Pereira, who was probably responsible for the construction of the house. In 1757, he sold the estate to his brother, Friar António do Desterro, who was at that time the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, who donated it, with all its contents, to the Seminary of Saint Joseph in 1762. It is a manor house built of brick and mortar. The upper floor overhangs a portico with five arcades at the front. The main façade is the most intricate one, displaying features that were typical of the architectural designs of military engineers from the colonial period. Except for the granite frames of the upper-floor windows, the decorative elements on this façade – the frame and central keystone of the arches, the cornerstones, the intricate and solid cornice beneath the roof and the decorations above the lintels of the doors and windows - are made of mortar. On the upper floor, each of the arches of the portico is matched by a window in the form of a depressed arch with the old-fashioned panelled frame that opens onto a small balcony. The interior is reached through a central door under the portico which opens onto a vestibule with a staircase parallel to the entrance and half-embedded in the wall, a characteristic feature of 18th-century houses in Brazil. It is possibly the last remaining example of this kind of building in the region of Guanabara. The vestibule also features two trefoil arches, one at each end of the staircase. Inside the house, a closed central courtyard is surrounded on the ground floor by eight Doric columns which support the veranda of the upper floor. This property and the House of the Bishop of Rio Comprido in Rio de Janeiro have been attributed to Brigadier Alpoim. They both follow the same floor plan with an arched portico at the front – consisting of five arches at Charitas and seven at Rio Comprido. The construction at Jurujuba is less monumental than that of the House of the Bishop, but it is more direct and more elegant than the latter.