Catete Palace - Museum of the Republic

Museu da República is a showcase for the history of Brazil of which it is a part

Facade of Catete Palace - home of the Museum of the Republic
Facade of Catete Palace - home of the Museum of the Republic cc licensed photo by Ministério da Cultura

What started off as a palatial home and then turned into a hotel and then a presidential home is now the Museum of the Republic (Museu da República), housing a wealth of information and artifacts pertaining to the history of Brazil.

The museum stands on a street called Rua do Catete and is a beautiful neoclassical structure complete with a small but beautifully kept public garden. This structure has changed hands a number of times over the centuries but has not lost any of the historical artefacts housed in it and these are what you will find displayed when you visit the museum.

Construction of the building started in the year 1858 as a residence for the family of Antonio Clemente Pinto. Portuguese born Antonio Clemente Pinto was a Baron of Nova Friburgo and made his riches as a coffee grower. He hired the services of German architect Carl Friedrich Gustav Waehneldt to design the palace in the neoclassical style. The construction was officially finished in 1867 but further changes were made in renovations in 1883. This urban mansion was called, Catete Palace.

When the couple died their son sold the property in 1889 to a group of investors who had intentions to turn it into a hotel. Soon after they bought the palace they went bankrupt as the economy at that time was not doing very well.

After its short stint as a hotel it became Brazil's presidential palace, housing many heads of state. The story of the last president who took up residence in the Presidential palace ended in tragedy. In a bid to avoid a military coup d'etat President Getulio Vargas committed suicide. The President killed himself by shooting himself in the heart. He was found in his bedroom which was situated on the third floor of the Palace. Should you make the trip to the Palace you will find that the room in which the President committed suicide left in the same state it was on that day. His pyjamas were replaced and the clock was stopped at the moment he took his life. It may seem eerie to some, but for those who loved this President and who appreciate his efforts in leading Brazil, it is a place of homage.

Going to the Museum of the Republic (Museu da República) is definitely worth the visit especially for those interested in the political history of Brazil.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - Half price on Wednesdays and Sundays

Open Now: No

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: R. do Catete, 153 - Catete, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22220-000, Brazil

Phone: (21) 2127-0324

Official Website: Catete Palace - Museum of the Republic


Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 1 - Orange or Line 2 - GreenCatete

How to get to Catete Palace - Museum of the Republic by Metro

Museum of the Republic is located directly across the road to the east from Catete Station

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Rated 4.6 out of 5

5 Star Rating Lovely place to run away from the stress of the city. Quiet hideout for a little peace of mind. Great coffee, clean and well maintained park. If you have kids they get you cover too.

Ernesto Barreto - 2 months ago

3 Star Rating Nice museum. Rooms well preserved. You can see, where evil President Vargas has shot himself. Unfortunately the garden surrounding the palace has been neglected badly.

Peter Corr - 7 months ago

5 Star Rating Beautiful Garden where people gather for various reasons. Great Place to hang out to relax.

Flavia Fassi - 7 months ago

4 Star Rating The museum itself is not the greatest place in the world, though it does offer a glimpse on the life of President Vargas and a bit of history of the neighbourhood Catete. But the Palace's garden is incredible! I recomend to go there about 5 oclock for the music played by a group Catete's residents

Diego Chagas - 8 months ago

5 Star Rating Peaceful and beautiful park. Nice bookshop. Pajama of the president Vargas perforated by bullet.

Pavel Borodin - 1 year ago


This video gives you and in depth tour of the palatial Museum of the Republic in Rio de Janeiro

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