Come to visit the chocolat factory that became a cultural center
Did you know Rio has its fantastic chocolat factory? Well, Charlie won’t be found anywhere and children cannot dive into rivers of sweet waters but the visit is fun, tasty and interesting anyways. That’s the Bhering Factory, at Santo Cristo district, in the harbour area.
Bhering Industry was open in 1880s and is considered Brazil’s first chocolat factory. It also used to produce candies and a coffee brand until it closed for business in the 1990s.
The building has 18.000 m2 (193,7 thousand sq feet) divided into five stories. The architecture takes advantage of the vast amount of light Rio offers with big glass panels. The iron structure was imported from an old factory in Germany. Even after Bhering was closed part of the machinery remained in place.
In 2005, the owner of the building decided to reoccupy it. Replicating similar experiences in Europe he rented the empty space to artists and artisans that searched for lower prices than those of the Southern area of Rio.
Around 2010 Rio was in the middle of a real estate prices boom due to the upcoming events (World Cup and Olympic Games) and more people started to rent space at the Factory to flee from higher prices uptown. Two years later, City Hall expropriated the building and declared it cultural heritage of Rio. Today the place has many different kinds of artists from pottery to designers, photographers, painters, furniture antique shops, gastronomy and even a small brewery.
Every first Saturday of the month there is an event called Circuito Interno during which the public can visit for free some of the installations, taste some of the food, listen to good music and watch the sunset from the terrace facing the waterfront of the harbour area.
The Antiga Fábrica Bhering is on rua Orestes, 28, Santo Cristo. Next Circuito interno is scheduled to happen next Saturday Sept 2nd, from 1PM-8PM. Free admittance. There is a private parking at the place but if you prefer public transportation you can take the VLT and get down on Cordeiro da Graça station.
To check all spaces open to visitation check the center’s Facebook page: