When I hear about this city I always think of Superman’s hometown…Metropolis! 🙂
But the city we went to today is Petrópolis or the Imperial City of Brazil! It is in Rio de Janeiro state about 65km from Rio and Petrópolis is also a very popular holiday spot. The town’s name (“city of Peter”) honors Emperor Pedro II, the nation’s second monarch. The city was the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century, and was the official capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1903.
The main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian Emperor, which is now the Imperial Museum. The Imperial Museum houses some of the most important objects in Brazilian history.(shh…I didn’t tell David that…we all know how he LOVES museums) Actually it looked like a city with some interesting places and architecture that I thought we would have fun photographing and we always drive by signs for Petrópolis on our way to Rio so it’s kinda fun to venture off on unknown roads. Petropolis is the closest mountain resort to Rio, and a favorite getaway destination with cariocas.
I loved Petrópolis. So many fascinating buildings and history. Here is a picture tour of our day in Petrópolis.
My absolute favorite place we saw today was the Imperial Museum, the former Summer Palace. I can see why it is the highlight. Unfortunately we had to put our cameras and belongings in a locker when we entered the museum so no pictures inside. Here is a bit of history…
Emperor Pedro I, who declared Brazil independent from Portugal on September 7, 1822, spent a night on a farm belonging to a priest, Padre Correia on his way to Minas Gerais in 1822. Pedro I was pleased with the weather and thought it would be good to have a summer residence here where he could receive visitors from Europe away from the hot weather in Rio( then the seat of government). The royals purchased a farm next to Padre Correia’s farm. When the emperor was forced to resign and return to Portugal in 1831, he left his young son, Pedro II as the ruler of Brazil and the plans to build a palace on the Petrópolis farm were abandoned. In 1843, newly wed, eighteen-year-old Pedro II created Petrópolis by decree. The city and the summer residence were built largely by European immigrants, mainly Germans. This summer residence of Emperor Pedro II is now the Imperial Museum.
And…a cool thing we noticed