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Tiradentes Palace

Tiradentes Palace (50)

This is perhaps one of the most beautiful buildings in the historic centre.

But before entering this stunning neoclassical palace, I recommend you stop for a moment in front of the statue by the central staircase, which is crowned by six 12-metre high columns.

Introducing Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes and currently considered Civic Patron of Brazil. He was given the nickname Tiradentes (tooth puller) because he worked as a dentist, among other professions. 

José da Silva was imprisoned in the basement of the old imperial building that currently houses the Tiradentes Palace, which was inaugurated in 1926, when Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of Brazil. Tiradentes was imprisoned and hanged in 1789 after his involvement in a conspiracy started in Minas Gerais called "Inconfidência Mineira", which attempted to establish an independent republican government in Brazil. 

After Brazil became a republic, a figure that reincarnated the republican vision of the city was needed. After finding the perfect candidate in Tiradentes, the building in front of you, which served as the headquarters of the National Congress until 1960 when it was moved to the newly created city of Brasilia, was renamed Tiradentes Palace and the day of his execution, 21 April, became a national holiday.

The building was designed by architects Archimedes Memória and Francisque Cuchet.

The entrance is marked by two bronze Victories two metres tall, erected on seven-metre high stone columns.

Now take a look at the two allegorical sculptures that crown the building, each symbolising one of the country's representative figures who led the independence of Brazil. Dom Pedro I as a symbol of the independence of Brazil, and Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca as a symbol of the Republic. 

Not only is the exterior a constant allegory of the greatness of Brazil as an independent and republican country, but if you go inside, you'll find paintings by Eliseu Visconti, who narrated the history of Brazil on the walls of the Tiradentes Palace. In the plenary hall, there's a large panel he painted in 1926 to depict the signing of the First Republican Constitution of 1891, in which the 63 figures are painted to scale.

It is said that the beautiful and huge central dome of the plenary room is decorated to reflect Brazil's sky on the morning of 15 November 1889 when the Republic was proclaimed.

Its stunning interior is dotted with beautiful symbols of peace, work, law and authority. There are also paintings by Joao Timóteo da Costa and Carlos Oswald.

Worth noting is the vestibule with its beautiful staircase, decorated in African and Portuguese marble and onyx. 

The Legislature of the State of Rio de Janeiro currently meets here and it houses a permanent exhibition that encompasses the key events in the history of Brazil, especially the Imperial and Republican period.

It's certainly worth a visit to such a beautiful building, which is steeped in much of the history of Rio and Brazil.

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