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National History Museum

National History Museum (55)

With an area of over 9,000 square metres, the National History Museum of Rio de Janeiro is located in an ancient strategic defence point, Fort Santiago. It was considered one of the largest stockpiles of weapons and ammunition in the city of Rio and ensured the defence of its citizens until the late nineteenth century.

Opened in 1922 as part of the International Exhibition Brazil celebrated in honour of the country's Centennial of Independence, it is the most important historical museum throughout Latin America and one of the largest in the city of Rio de Janeiro. 

The collection of carriages and cars featured in the museum is usually the focus of anyone who approaches the old Fort Santiago. With more than twenty pieces, you can find from human-powered vehicles from the time of slavery in Brazil, ostentatious and ornate carriages and even the first motor vehicles that became popular in Rio in the early twentieth century.

But, besides the impressive exhibition of vehicles, the National History Museum takes you on a journey through the country's history, from the ancient inhabitants of Brazil, into the culture, beliefs and ways of life of some native tribes, up to the trip of the Portuguese court and subsequent colonisation of Brazilian land.

As a recommendation, stop by to enjoy one of the largest coin collections in Latin America. Here, you will find the only copy of the first silver coin created for trade with the colonies by Dom Manuel I of Portugal, called O Indo, the Indian.

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