The National Historical Museum (Museu Historico Nacional) is known to be one of the most important museums in Brazil. It highlights, through its exhibitions and artefacts, the social as well as economic history of Brazil.
It was by decree of President Epitacio Pessoa that the National Historical Museum (Museu Historico Nacional) was created in 1922, it officially started its activities in October of that same year. The building, however, was not built that year but was in fact built many years prior to that in 1603 as the St James of Mercy Fort. The building of the structure at that particular point was a defensive military strategy. Other buildings built in the area included a prison for slaves called the Calaboose Prison.
When the museum was first started it only utilized the St James of Mercy Fort but after being in operation for 75 years the fort alone could not hold the ever enlarging collection of artefacts. This is when other structures at Calaboose Point started to be utilized. The museum now includes the Barracks, the ammunition depot, the Calaboose Prison and the War arsenal. The total area of the museum today is 20,000 m2.
The museum has 25 permanent exhibits as well as non permanent ones with the largest numismatic collections of Latin America, you will also find extensive paintings and a sacred art exhibitions of shrines. For those of you more interested in reading about the history of Brazil there are over 50,000 documents as well as photographs and in the library you will find close to 58,000 titles dating as far back as the 15th century. You will also see a large collection of coins and paper money from Latin America. Through its artifacts and documentation you get to learn about the history of Brazil from the colonial times to the modern day. This helps you to better understand the country of Brazil and its people.
Most of the collection was amassed when the Ministry of Culture was responsible for the museum. It was the first museum in Brazil to run museology courses, making it the leading educational institution for many of the other local museums.
A trip to the National Historic Museum is well worth it, especially if you are interested in getting a more in depth look into Brazil.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: National Historical MuseumFee: Yes
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website.
- Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
- Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
- Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
- Friday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
- Saturday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Praça Marechal Âncora, s/n
Rio de Janeiro - RJ 20021-200
Phone: +55 21 3299-0324
Tyler L. Apr-01-2023
This museum was originally a fortress and weapons depot that dates back to when Brazil was still a colony. The cannons in the courtyard are a dead giveaway... Read More
Thomas R. Feb-19-2023
The Brazilian National History Museum was marvelous. I was a bit suspicious of a national history museum that wasn't in the capital, but the Rio National... Read More
Darya S. Mar-17-2014
My friend and I learned so much about Brazil at the Museum of National History! There was an English-speaking woman there who helped us out a lot.... Read More
Accommodations near National Historical Museum:
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 1 - Orange or Line 2 Green||Carioca||13 Minutes|
How to get to National Historical Museum by Metro
Make your way to Carioca Station and take the south exit to Av. Almirante Barroso follow it to your left (east). When you reach Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos cross at the cross walk just to your right and continue east along Rua Marechal Aguinaldo Caiado de Castro all the way to the museum.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.