The Imperial Museum of Brazil

While in Rio de Jainero, the Imperial Museum of Brazil is definitely worth a visit. Built in 1845 in what is now the historic center of Petropolis, the estate was once the summer palace for the Emperor Dom Pedro II – who ruled from 1831 to 1839. Currently, it houses the country’s main collection of artifacts from the Brazilian empire, or the Second empire as it is sometimes referred to. More than 300,000 items are kept here for the public to view, as well as archives and bibliographies, events, exhibitions, and educational projects.

Emperor and Empress in the gardens of their summer home (now the Imperial Museum of Brazil)

One fascinating collection, that was donated to the museum in 1999 is the Geyer Collection. It is one of the largest collections of drawings, paintings, prints, travel books, maps, and albums about Brazil that were produced by scientists, explorers, artist, and travelers the world over – all through the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The Geyer family also donated their home to the museum that is located at the base of the Christ Redeemer, and in through which flows the river Carioca. The home should be open to the public for viewing in the near future, along with original furniture, glassware, pottery, rugs, silverware and other unique Brazilian items. House shown below:

The museum is also custodian of the House of Claudio de Souza, located in Liberty Square. The home was built in the late nineteenth century, and in 1956 was donated to the widow Dona Luisa de Souza Leite who was the widow of Claudio de Souza, an academic. The collection within the home includes a vast amount of books, photos, furniture and other unique Brazilian items. It also includes the provate library of Claudio de Souza, including 660 works and books. The works and books are kept and preserved in the museum.

The museum also hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the Imperial Choir giving performances, the Sound and Light Show, and a unique interactive dramatization of the typical leisure activity of the nineteenth century. Many other events also take place throughout the year, whose schedules are available on the calendar of events on the museum’s website.

Museum entry is relatively inexpensive, with admission being only 8 dollars, and only 4 dollars for students, teachers, and seniors. Any Brazilian seniors or children under seven have free admission. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5:30 pm.