The São Joaquim da Grama Church, listed as state’s cultural heritage by the INEPAC (State Cultural Heritage Institute) in 1989, is located in the district of Rio Claro, in Rio de Janeiro's central-southern region.
Under the Rio de Janeiro State’s Cultural Incentive Law, INB sponsors the Restoration Project for that church, which is in a condition of disrepair. In order to rescue this icon of the “coffee barons” era, emergency works were required, capable of stopping the damage and thus allowing, in a second stage, to turn the site into a memorial and coexistence center.
The Grama Farm was the Souza Breves’ Empire administration headquarters. Important families of that time gathered there to discuss issues of interest to coffee farmers and to establish political agreements. Commander Joaquim José de Souza Breves, the owner of the farm, decided to rest forever on the property; therefore he built the São Joaquim da Grama Church in 1887, so he and his family would be buried there. One year after the completion of the work, the farmer, regarded as the "Coffee King" of the Empire of Brazil, died and was buried in the church. In 1962, religious activities were interrupted and the chapel was closed due to its structure’s precarious condition and the site’s lack of safety.