This is my third blog in less weeks about the botanical gardens here in Rio. As you know by now, I love this place and return time after time to walk the trails, wonder off into the wooded areas, visit the books in the gift shop and to take photos. There are at least 4 historic buildings within the 140 hectare (about 346 acres) grounds so you see I had a full fledged dilemma trying to choose only one to show you. I ended up choosing based on the amount of information I could gather on each, versus what is the most beautiful or even the most interesting building.
Walking to the left as you enter the main gates of the gardens, passing up the (most handy) restrooms and continuing to bear left, there is a small museum called (only in the Brazilian style of naming buildings!) the Archaeological Site Museum of the Pestle Mill Workshop.
In 1808, John VI of Portugal founded the Rio botanical gardens and in 1822 they were opened to the public. This building began as a pestle mill in 1809 and continued in its intended functions until 1831 – over the next 150 years it was a private residence of Mrs. Pepétua de Cunha (1831-1859), a warehouse for agricultural equipment/residence for workers in the gardens (1859-1934), a seed warehouse (1934-1941), and finally as the residence of Dr. Kuhlmann and the Kuhlmann Botanical museum (1941-1982). In the subsequent years, up until early 2000s, this building sat empty surrounded by the natural forest and has only recently been protected from the elements with a new roof and opened to the public as a museum.