When I was a little girl, I was given a vintage doll house, and walking through the Palacio Rio Negro in Petropolis actually felt as if I was walking through a life size version of my childhood doll house (kind of creepy)! Today’s History lesson: The palace was built in 1889 to be the summer house of a wealthy coffee baron, Barão do Rio Negro (black river) and was the seat of the government between 1894 and 1902 when Petropolis was the capital of the Province and state of Rio de Janeiro.
Until 1903 the palace had been Brazil’s official presidential summer residence. As you can see from the picture above, the walls are lined with the portraits of each president. The period furniture gives a sense of late imperial luxury, but perhaps most impressive are the parquet floors: each room is done in a different design, with 13 types of tropical woods used to make the mosaics. If you are in the process of apartment hunting- floors are important!There are a number of beautiful paintings but what I found to be most intriguing were the images that were covered up. The picture above makes it look like the walls are peeling off; well they are, but what you probably can’t see (sorry about that) are the incredibly detailed images that lie behind these white walls…If only these walls could talk, I can’t wait to see what it looks like once it has been completely restored!
Palacio Rio Negro is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm
Do you like learning about the history of Brazil?