Engenho de Dentro
The history of the neighborhood is linked to the sugarcane plantations of the 17th century, which relied on enslaved labor. The region, which tells a little about colonial Brazil, is located at the foot of Serra dos Pretos Forros, the mountains whose name comes from the fact that they once sheltered freed Black men.
Its development begins with the urbanization of the city and the emergence of popular areas around the railway. In 1908, due to the smallpox epidemic, an emergency hospital was created in the neighborhood, which shortly after became a psychiatric institution. In 1943, Centro Psiquiátrico Nacional [National Psychiatric Center] was created: the area then becomes synonymous with asylum. In 1975, the Ary Franco prison is built, reinforcing the character of the region as a place of marginalization.
Engenho de Dentro is a representation of a city that sweeps its “dirt” under the rug, as the popular saying goes: everything that society does not want to see must be hidden, preferably behind bars. But the human being echoes freedom, and it is there, at the Gates of Hell, that Museu do Inconsciente [Museum of the Unconscious] emerges, in a revolution led by Nise da Silveira.