When you are driving into Petropolis you will come upon a massive beautiful palace; make sure you go down the drive way and explore it right away before you head into the historical center otherwise you will be stuck in traffic or fighting your way through it to see it (take my word for it!). The Quitandinha Palace is one of those historical sites that should not be missed!
It was built in 1944 by the Brazilian entrepreneur Joaquim Rolla, and is considered one of the most impressive architectural monuments in Petrópolis. The palace is huge (50 thousand square meters and has 440 rooms plus 13 suites) but there are lots of open spaces so you won’t be there all afternoon. When it was first opened, the Palácio Quitandinha, was known as the “Cassino Hotel Quitandinha”, the largest hotel casino in Latin America (too bad it only held that title for two years since they shut down gambling in Brazil).
Inside there are a number of conference rooms, a theater, bowling, a kitchen that is so large it had at least 100 chefs working in it at a given time, a few pools, a winter garden (below) and my favorite ‘event space’ the Maua Great Room (above). Personally, I would love to attend or throw a party here. This ‘great room’ is enormous (30m high and 50m in diameter), painted bright blue and is used for orchestral performances (which we unfortunately didn’t get to see). It is so large that you are meant to hear your voice echo 14 times (and you can) so when you walk in and hear people shouting silly things, now you know why:) This winter garden is the only ‘modern’ aspect of the entire palace. The butterflies are lit up little holograms that flutter around on the ceiling and along the walls there are touch screens for you to learn more about them. It seems very out of place, but it is cool to see, you get that ‘past meets present’ feeling all in one space. There is more to the Quitandinha Palace outside including a lake, paddle boats, a restaurant and small light house (below). You can make a leisurely afternoon of it or tour through before heading into the historic district.
What type of party would you throw in the great room?