Museu de Arte Contemporânea
By far, the most compelling attraction in Niterói is the Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC) (Mirante da Boa Viagem, tel. 21/2620-4000, www.macniteroi.com.br, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun., R$4). Designed by Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1996, this fantastic UFO-shaped construction sits upon a slender cylindrical base whose diameter is only 9 meters (30 feet).
Since the museum is perched upon an outcrop overlooking the Baía de Guanabara, the 360-degree views are spectacular, often rivaling the museum’s hit-and-miss art exhibits. To reach the museum from Niterói’s ferry terminal, as you leave the terminal take a right and walk 50 meters (164 feet) and then catch the 47B minibus.
The Museu de Arte Contemporânea was the first construction of what will eventually constitute the Caminho Niemeyer (Niemeyer Route). Other projects include the striking Teatro Popular (completed in mid-2007), the Catedral Metropolitano de Niterói, and the Fundação Oscar Niemeyer, which will house the architect’s works and private art collection as well as an art school.
When completed, Niterói will be second only to Brasília as a showcase for the vanguard architect’s constructions.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition