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Journey

Colonization, Empire and Republic: museums in the Mountain Region

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The Journey

A tour to the Mountain Region is always very pleasant, for the mild climate and the exuberance of the Atlantic Forest the whole way climbing up its mountains.

It was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, among which the Crowned ethnicity stands out. After the beginning of Portuguese colonization, the mountain was particularly marked from the mid-eighteenth century, by the opening of new roads, including the New Way destined for the flow of gold from Minas Gerais.

The mountain was particularly marked from the mid-eighteenth century, by the opening of new roads

But definitely in the Empire period, from the stimulus of mostly German European immigration, some cities were traced, responsible for driving new population occupation.

Regarding the world of museums, an excellent visitation route is concentrated in Petrópolis. With a past full of memories and references to the History of Brazil, the city is known as the “Imperial City”. The very name is a tribute to the Emperor D. Pedro II, from the house of Orleans and Bragança, who ruled the country for over forty years. Every year, during the summer months, the monarch with his family went there, fleeing from the high temperatures that permeated the Palace of São Cristóvão.

Petropolis is known as the “Imperial City”. The very name is a tribute to the Emperor D. Pedro II

Petropolis today still shows signs of an aristocratic past, with beautiful and stately homes built in the nineteenth century and which are still preserved today. The most important is undoubtedly that where today stands the Imperial Museum. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and surrounded by the magic atmosphere of other times, the Imperial Museum is one of the most visited museums in the country, offering the public a relevant collection of objects that belonged to the Brazilian imperial family. The visitor is surprised by the sophistication of the pieces that include, among other items, furniture, emblazoned crockery, clothing, jewelry and paintings depicting historical characters. But the most auratic object is undoubtedly the Emperor’s crown, displayed with special care according to the standards of modern expography.

Still referenced to the Empire’s past, we find the Santos Dumont House, the great inventor who brought to Brazil the glory of being the first to fly over Paris with the famous 14 Bis. Alberto Santos Dumont was a close friend of the imperial family, particularly the Princess Isabel. His house, designed and built by him, is completely bizarre and eccentric, expressing all his genius. Located at Rua do Encanto, on Morro do Encanto, it was called “Enchanted” by him.

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The Imperial Museum is one of the most visited museums in the country

The region also has other attractions, and particularly in Petropolis, we can visit another very significant museum space of the process of occupation and building of the city, the Settler’s House. A vestige of German immigration in the city in the mid-nineteenth century, the house is curious for its rustic architecture, with stone foundations and walls of gross wattle and daub, reproducing a typical rural house of Germany. The Settler’s House, built in the block of Kastelaum in 1847, is a document of German immigration to Brazil and of the urban layout established by Julius Friedrich Köhler, engineer for the city of Petrópolis, expressing important contributions of the Germans in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

But it is not only the imperial period that can be revisited in the museums of Petrópolis. Traces of the later Republican period are also there waiting for the visitor. The most important, no doubt, is anchored in the Rio Negro Palace, built in 1889, the year of the proclamation of the Republic. The Baron of Rio Negro left the palace for unknown reasons. The house was closed until 1903, when President Deodoro da Fonseca briefly moved the capital of the province to Petropolis. Since then, every president of the Brazilian Republic passed through the “imperial city” at different times and they are depicted by the pallets of local painters in the Rio Negro Palace.

It is also worth observing the beautiful houses, the squares and boulevards that surround the museums in Petrópolis. Traces of other times, these buildings evoke memories of characters from the Brazilian Imperial Court, and also the German settlers and workers of various origins who came to inhabit the city.

The buildings evoke memories of characters from the Brazilian Imperial Court, and also the German settlers

Recently the Stephan Zweig House, the Wax Museum and the Experience Centre of Bohemia, also known as the beer museum were inaugurated.

In Teresópolis, the Arthur Dalmasso Memory House, administered by the municipality, deserves highlighting. Registered by the State Institute of Cultural Heritage (INEPAC), it was restored and opened in 2009 to display the historical, photographic and documentary collection of the city of Teresópolis.

Finally, a good tip is to pass by a tea house, have a hot drink and indulge in buttery biscuits and typical sweets of Petropolis.

Videos

Museums Included
in this Journeyrosa_lista

casa_do_colono
Museu Casa do Colono - Petrópolis, RJ
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santos_dumont
Museu Casa de Santos Dumont - Petrópolis, RJ
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museu_imperial
Museu Imperial - Petrópolis, RJ
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rio_negro
Palácio Rio Negro - Petrópolis, RJ
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Realization:

unirio
Producer
Associated:

imagine
Support for English
Translation:

Secretaria de Estado de Cultura do Rio de Janeiro
Support:
faperj Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico