at Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, São José do Rio Prêto, 04081-004 Brazil
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is a lagoon in the district of Lagoa in the Zona Sul area of Rio de Janeiro. The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing sea water to enter by a canal along the edge of a park locally known as Jardim de Alah.IslandsPiraquê Island on the western edge houses the Departamento Esportivo do Clube Naval (Sport Department of the Naval Club).Caiçaras Island on the southern edge houses the Clube dos Caiçaras (Caiçaras Club), where water skiers tested for the 2007 Pan American Games.HistoryThough it receives its waters from diverse river tributaries from the surrounding hillsides, among those that stand out is the river Rio dos Macacos (today channelized), which introduces salt water. The water of the lagoon comes from the damming of an opening to the sea caused by successive build-ups of earth. This separates it from the Atlantic Ocean, except for the Canal do Jardim Alá.Initially inhabited by the Tamoios Indians who dominated the lagoon, such as Piraguá ("Still Water") or Sacopenapan ("Path of the Herons"). The arrival of the Portuguese colonizer, Dr. António Salema (1575-1578), who was at the time also the Governor and Captain General of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, intended to install a sugar mill on the banks of the lagoon. To free himself of the undesirable presence of the native Indians he spread clothes that had been worn by people sick with smallpox along the banks of the lagoon intending to kill the Indians. Such was the sugar cane plantation and the building of the Engenho d'El-Rey (The King's Mill), where today's Centro de Recepção aos Visitantes do Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro (the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden Visitors' Reception Center) operates.
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