The city of Rio de Janeiro is full of tourist attractions, natural beauty and privileged places. Among so many famous places, one that stands out for being a youth cultural center in the 1970s is the Ipanema Pier.

The surprising and unimaginable mix of beach and waste pipe gave rise to one of the busiest spots on the Rio coast of the period. Frequented by big names in Brazilian culture and giving space to some of the first national surfing stars, the Ipanema Pier has many stories to tell.

Although the structure has been dismantled, the place still brings rich memories of the city of Rio’s past, when the repression of the military dictatorship and the freedom of the counterculture clashed. Below, you will find out some interesting facts about Ipanema Pier and the famous personalities who visited the region. Check out!

What was the Ipanema Pier

The Ipanema Pier, located on Ipanema Beach, was a metallic structure whose purpose was to dump sewage into Rio’s waters. Built in 1972, it was a type of bridge over the sea that carried a submarine outfall — a type of pipe — to the point where the materials would be discarded.

In this uninviting scenario, one of the most cult places in the history of Rio de Janeiro during the 1970s would emerge. With human intervention, the place underwent some changes that would culminate in attractions for new visitors. One of them was the quality of the waves.

To install the structure, the soil and sea depth were altered. As a result, the waves became bigger at this point on the Rio coast. Before the Ipanema Pier, surfers went to Praia do Arpoador in search of the best waves in Rio. But, with the changes that occurred after the structure was inaugurated, the best spot for surfing migrated to the pier area.

In this way, many surfers who used Arpoador Beach to practice their maneuvers began to frequent the Ipanema Pier region. Among them, popular history tells that the “Metralinhas” brothers were some of the famous surfers of the time who left Arpoador for the waters of the new pier.

Petit, who became famous as the surfer heartthrob, frequented the region and became the inspiration for the song “Menino do Rio”, by Caetano Veloso.

Ipanema Pier and counterculture movements

According to Olivio Petit, director of the series “Dunas do Barato”, which portrays the period:

“The pier was another of the military government’s major projects, which was betting on major works to impress — like the Transamazônica, a highway opened in 1972, during the government of President Emílio Garrastazu Médici.”

However, contrary to the militarism that gave rise to the pier, the new space attracted, in addition to surfers, several groups of young people.

Ipanema Pier Rio de Janeiro RJ

Thus, at the height of the 1970s and the Brazilian military dictatorship, artists and several other personalities met in this place to bathe in the sea and sun. This meeting was made possible thanks to a curious formation that took place on the sands of Ipanema Beach, shortly after the pier was placed.

Ipanema Pier Dunes

In order for the structure to be installed, the soil in the region had to be disturbed. As a result, sand dunes were formed that surrounded the shore, separating the area from the avenue. In this way, there was a “wall” dividing the young groups from the repression that was taking place in the city.

Some dunes were named and received, among others, the names of Dunas do Barato and Dunas da Gal — as we will see in detail, later on. Otávio Pacheco, in a statement to InsideNow magazine, states that:

“It was a difficult time, in which the world and society in general had to adapt to many changes. The pier was the place where many of these changes took place because there was a great cultural effervescence, which was driven by the almost daily coexistence between surfers and artists in general: musicians, poets, artists, intellectuals, etc.”

On the maritime side of the “sand barriers”, there were some famous personalities; between them :

  • Caetano Veloso;
  • Giberto Gil;
  • Cazuza;
  • Baby from Brazil;
  • Nelson Motta;
  • Evandro Mesquita;
  • José Wilker;
  • Glauber Rocha;
  • Jorge Mautner;
  • Macalé Gardens;
  • Jackal Poet;
  • Surfer Rico de Souza.

Where were the Gal Dunes

Gal Costa was one of the most notable personalities at Ipanema Pier — so much so that the singer “gave name” to one of the dunes in the region. According to what is said about the history of Ipanema Pier, Gal was the first person to spread out his sarong and lie down on the piles of sand that were formed on that shore.

During the period, the artist starred in the show “Gal a Todo Vapor”, at the Teresa Raquel theater, in Copacabana. According to what is said behind the scenes, the singer used to go to the Ipanema Pier before her musical performances in Rio.

Where was Ipanema Pier

The Ipanema Pier, as the name suggests, was located on the sands and sea of Ipanema Beach. Close to where Avenida Vieira Souto meets Rua Farme de Amoedo, the location facilitated access for visitors to the rest of Ipanema Beach and, in addition, to Arpoador.

What happened to Ipanema Pier?

The sewage disposal structure that became a cultural hub in Rio de Janeiro was dismantled in 1975. The pier remained during the government of Emílio Médici — which is considered one of the bloodiest and most repressive moments of the Military Dictatorship.

In this way, the space was the stage for Brazilian counterculture movements — and, in particular, Rio de Janeiro — during the first half of the 1970s.

What is there to do in Ipanema nowadays

The Ipanema Pier, as we saw, is no longer standing. But that doesn’t mean you won’t miss out on the natural beauty and other attractions that the Rio region has. Therefore, there are dozens of attractions everywhere for those who want to enjoy this privileged spot in the city. With a complete infrastructure, both for residents and visitors, Ipanema will delight you. Check out what to do in Ipanema these days:

  • Natural attractions: Ipanema Beach Stations 7, 8, 9 and 10; Arpoador Beach; Arpoador Stone; Devil’s Beach and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
  • Outdoor spaces: Statue of Tom Jobim; Our Lady of Peace Square; Getúlio Vargas Square; Caiçaras Island; Parcão da Lagoa and Kiosks in Ipanema.
  • Hotels and Hostels: Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro; Arena Ipanema Hotel; Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Ipanema; Ipanema Beach Hostel; Che Lagarto Hostel Ipanema and Beach House Ipanema.
  • Restaurants in Ipanema: Bahl Restaurant; Teva Vegan Restaurant; Margutta Ipanema; Tropical Delirium Ipanema; Empório Jardim na Praia; RJ Barbecue; Allma Restaurant and Yosuki Sushi House.
  • Bars and Bistros: Manoel and Joaquim Bar and Botequim; Boteco Boa Praça; Boteco Belmonte; Corner of Ipanema; Maia Bar; Zigzag; Arp Beach Bar; Adam’s Bar and Osório Bar.
  • Bakeries and Coffee shops in Ipanema: Gringo Cafe; Slowzinha; Alessandro and Frederico Café; Nema; Colombo Ipanema Confectionery; Boulangerie Carioca Ipanema and La Veronese.

Living in Ipanema

Ipanema is a neighborhood located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The place is located between important names in the municipality — such as Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Ipanema Beach, Arpoador Beach and the neighborhoods of Leblon and Copacabana.

Furthermore, Ipanema is a neighborhood full of services that promote the well-being and quality of life of its residents and visitors. Thus, the place has educational and health institutions that provide excellent services to those who live in the region and/or use the location.

Schools, universities, courses, as well as hospitals, clinics, offices, laboratories and a series of professionals from different segments serve the neighborhood with quality. Do you want to know more about Ipanema and what the place has to offer? So, continue reading INVEXO’s content.

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