Every time Camillo and I have come from the GIG (the international airport) I ask, “what is that building?” and Camillo answers, “the national museum, we need to visit it.” and I say, When?” We have been making that trip from the airport at least twice a year for upward of 18 years and the conversation has always been the same.
This last weekend as a bribe to get me into Rio, Camillo promised me a cultural event and as promised, on Saturday we took the metro to the Cinelándia station just east of central Rio, then a taxi the short distance to the Museu Histórico Nacional.
Brazil's Museum of History.
The museum is housed in a military building dating back to 1762 and has been meticulously restored and maintained. There is a large courtyard on the ground floor that I will need to go back and explore.
In the courtyard there is a wall of leaded arched windows and a ceramic tile fountain that were being cleaned and was closed to the public, and the courtyard has old iron cannons and all this area needs to be photographed.
Also on the ground floor was a large area being prepared for a wedding; filled with Chrystal chandeliers and large pots of white roses and lilies. The flowers filling the front entrance, all with the rich smell of fresh cut flowers is enough to start off your with the right attitude.
In what I suspect was the ground floor stables are two large areas filled with carriages. Each carriage seemed in pristine condition, each one individual with wood carved doors, leather seats – a real glimpse into the glories of Brasil in the 1800s.
Up on the second floor was a well laid out area that contained a select collection of archeological artifacts, more modern busts of the nobility that came from Portugal and a few graphs that helped put the history into perspective the development of man in Brasil with the rest of the world.
I found it all easy to follow (was in Portuguese and English) and very interesting. An excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Rio.