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

Museu da República Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • 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 – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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

Official Website: Museu da República

Museu da República Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating This building is quite extrodinary since it reflects the glorious history of Rio in the time of the monarchy. It was truly worthy of its later status as the seat of the presidency before moving to Brasilia.
peterlenting - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating A walk back in time to experience the splendour of a bygone era. Surrounded by markets on a weekend this museum is a testament to the past with a nod to the future. Entrance is free and well worth the 30 minutes cab ride from Copacabana.. To see such an ornate structure was refreshing in an age where we are surrounded by technology. Definitely worth the visit
Patrick Macky - 10 months ago

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5 Star Rating Free admission! It's a magical, beautiful place. The interior is full of art and history. Every room signifies something related to the history of the country and town. It is also the death site of Getúlio Vargas
Town Traveller - a year ago

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5 Star Rating A true gem and must see in generally run down and overrated Rio de Janeiro. The rooms have their own themes and unique decorations, all rooted in ancient European mythology, especially the decoration of the walls, created by the finest artists of its time, all for the purpose to cement the importance and legacy of the palace’s original owner, a rich entrepreneur from the 1800s.
Graf D. - a year ago

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5 Star Rating A stunning and breathtaking place to visit! A real glimpse into the many riches of Brazil. Aldo a great place to learn about Brazil's colonial times as well as when it became a Republic. Very well maintained and guarded. The guards all speak English. The adjoining park is very beautiful and a little oasis from the hustle and bustle of life in the big city of Rio de Janeiro. Definitely worth a visit. You will not be disappointed!
Gabriella Israel Grinberg - 4 years ago

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

How to get to Museu da República by Metro

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

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