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Palacio Do Catete - Museu Da Republica

Palacio Do Catete - Museu Da Republica (41)

You are in front of the building that was the former headquarters of the federal government, and before that was the Palace of Nova Friburgo, since it was built between 1858 and 1867 by the merchant and coffee grower Antonio Clemente Pinto, Baron of Nova Friburgo.

The building soon became a symbol of the economic power of the social elite that owned the coffee plantations of the 19th century. 

In 1889, 20 years after the death of the baron and his wife, it was acquired by the businessman Francis Paula Mayrink. And later, in 1896, the palace was acquired by Federal Government to become the seat of the presidency, which was previously at the Itamaraty Palace.

It is an imposing neoclassical building whose sober and elegant granite façade on the ground floor and pink and white marble on the upper floors cloak the lavishness of its magnificent interiors, elegantly decorated in the style of the richest European palaces. One of the most characteristic symbols of the palace are the huge bronze harpy eagles located on top of the building, designed by the sculptor Rodolfo Bernardelli. In the early 20th century the palace thus became known as the "Palacio das Eagles".

Inside, the lavish marble staircase, stained-glass windows, spectacular chandeliers, splendid painted murals, large mirrors, columns, coffered ceilings, spectacular skylights and rich woods await you. Work that involved renowned artists such as the architect Gustav Waehneldt and painters like Emil Bauch, Gastón Tassini and Mario Bragaldi.

Its décor is a mixture of themes and styles in the fashion of the time. Examples are the Blue Room decorated in the style of Louis XV, the Noble Hall with its elegant furniture, vases in gold leaf, large mirrors and fine lamps, the Pompeii Room decorated with motifs from the city buried by the eruption of Vesuvius, and the Moorish Room inspired by the beautiful Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada (Spain).

It now houses the Republic Museum. It's a fascinating place if you're a fan of history, since it is one of the most historically important buildings in the city and without doubt one of the most beautiful. Here you'll find furniture, art, objects, photographs and all kinds of documentation from the era.

It was home to 18 presidents of the Republic and was the scene of important moments in the history of the country, such as the signing of the declaration of war against Germany in 1917 during the First World War. You can also see the room where, on 24 August 1954, President Getúlio Vargas ended his life. It is located on the third floor and has been preserved just as Vargas left it, and also contains his will, a picture of his bloodstained pyjamas caused by the shot that took his life, and the weapon he used.

In addition you can freely enjoy the magnificent gardens, with palm trees, lakes, bridges and caves. 

ALL POINTS OF INTEREST

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