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Ilha da Boa Viagem

Island of Bon Voyage
Ilha da Boa Viagem (Island of Bon Voyage) is a rocky promontory connected to the east shore of Guanabara Bay by causeway.

Ilha da Boa Viagem lies across the Bay from the older districts of Rio de Janeiro.

The island takes its name from its proximity to the main road from which ships departed Guanabara Bay. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the island was the focus of sea-borne processions in honor of Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (Our Lady of Bon Voyage). Portuguese seaman gave thanks for their safe arrival at Rio de Janeiro and prayed to the Virgin to intercede for their safety on the trans-Atlantic crossing, or the perilous voyage around the southern tip of South America.

Between 1690 and 1720, Ilha da Boa Viagem was fortified to protect Rio de Janeiro and the adjacent road from enemy ships managing to pass the three forts guarding the entrance of Guanabara Bay. In 1711, the fort successfully repelled attacks by French invaders under the command René Duguay-Trouin in 1711.

The island’s fortifications were decommissioned in 1881.


Prepared by: Turnbull, P.
Created: 28 October 2001
Modified: 20 March 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000108

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