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Earth : South America : Brazil : Southeast (Brazil) : Rio de Janeiro (state) : Petrópolis
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The Meseu Imperial in Petrópolis

Petrópolis is a city in Rio de Janeiro (state). It is also known as The Imperial City of Brazil.

Nestled among the forested hills of the Serra dos Órgãos, in the valley of the Quitandinha and Piabanha rivers, Petrópolis is a popular summer holiday spot. Besides the climate and surroundings, the main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the Brazilian Emperors, which is now a museum, specializing in Imperial history and memorabilia.

Petrópolis is home to the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), a research unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Federal Government.


In the 1830s, the area of modern day Petrópolis was little more than farmland. When Emperor Dom Pedro I went through there on his way to Minas Gerais, he was struck by the scenery and decided to buy some land. Dom Pedro I returned to Portugal soon after and the land was passed to his son, Dom Pedro II who built a summer retreat. Soon a palace was built along with mansions and a cathedral, giving its nickname, "The Imperial City".

Get in

The only way into Petrópolis is by road. Buses run from the the major cities in the area such as Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte as well as places further afield such as São Paulo and Brasília.

  • Única runs buses from Rio de Janeiro (1 hour) about every 20 minutes for R$13 (Try and get a seat on the left hand side of the bus for the best views). You get dropped off at the Rodoviária about 10km from town. Take the local bus number 100 or 10 into the city center.

Get around

All the main tourist sights are close to the center and are easily accessible on foot. There is numerous bus services in and around town but the number 100 or 10 are the ones most useful to visitors. They run from the center to the Rodoviária 10km out of town which has regional bus connections to places all over.


  • Meseu Imperial. Rua da Imperatriz 220. +55-22-378-000. 11AM-5:30PM TU-SU. Admission R$8.

One of the cities highlights. The weekend house of Dom Pedro II and his wife, Dona Teresa. The well preserved building has a collection of royal exibits aswell as a 1.7kg diamond and pearl studded crown.

Meseu Imperial Official Website (Portuguese, English and Spanish)

  • Catedral de São Pedro de Alcântara. Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 60. +55-22-424-300. 8AM-NOON & 2-6PM TU-SU. Admission free.

Housing the tombs of Dom Pedro II, Dona Teresa and their daughter Princesa Isabel, this is a fine cathedral that has great views from its steps.

  • Palácio de Cristal. Rua Alfredo Pachá. +55-22-473-721. 9AM-5:30PM TU-SU. Admission free.

A greenhouse built for Princesa Isabela in France and broght to Brazil in 1884


  • Rios Brasileiros Rafting Room 104, Rua Silva Jardim 514. +55-22-434-372.

This company organizes rafting and hiking trip around the area. They have English and Portuguese speaking guides.

Rios Brasileiros Rafting (Portuguese, English and Spanish)


Like most towns and cities in Brazil, anything that you could want to buy would most likely in the main street Rua do Imperador. However if its clothes you're after you can't go wrong with Rua Teresa. This street has more clothes stores than you need aswell as a few good places to eat.





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