The Fortress of Brazilian Culture

Museu Histórico Nacional

From the amalgamation of the Santiago Fortress, the Casa do Trem and the War Arsenal, in 1922 the largest History museum in Brazil, the National History Museum, was formed. Its buildings date back to the 17th century and retain vestiges of the Colonial, Imperial, and Republican periods in their architecture. This is one of the largest architectural complexes in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

In the area where a city was born, there is a place that tells the story of an entire country.

Culture and Tranquility
A visit to the National History Museum is more than just learning about history and seeing works of art. The architecture of the place is enchanting. The details of the construction, which reflect the Colonial, Imperial, and Republican periods are striking. Besides all this, it is a quiet place to relax.

Patio Santiago
One of the main defensive points from sea-borne attacks of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In the background, the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain).

Casa do Trem
A foundry was installed in this building—from where the first bronze sculptures in America were produced by Master Valentim in 1783. The Royal Military Academy was founded here in 1811.

From 1822, independence saw the Arsenal became a major center for the production and storage of weapons and ammunition for the Brazilian Army.

Patio Minerva
Area used for receptions and cultural activities.

Coats of Arms and their meanings delight visitors in this area adjoining the Patio of Minerva.

Here begins a journey combining arts and weapons.

Patio of the Cannons
Copies of Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, and Brazilian cannons, representing various periods of our history can be seen here. The cannons have braille subtitles.

Top view of the Patio of the Cannons.

The fountain in the center of the courtyard is popular for photographs.

The Patio of the Cannons at nightfall.

Patio Gustavo Barroso
Space that functions as a support for major exhibitions and as a leisure area.

Attention-grabbing architecture in the midst of a large and modern metropolis.

The surroundings of the National History Museum are pleasantly green.

Panoramic photo taken by Augusto Malta at 1922 during the International Exhibition that celebrated Brazilian Independence first centenary. At the beginning of 20th century the War Arsenal was transferred and the military architectural complex was reformulated, becoming the Pavilion of the Great Industries during the Exhibition. The National History Museum, created in 1922 by President Epitacio Pessoa, was installed in this building. To the right is the Pavilion of Parties.

Image inspired by the photo of Augustus Malta, 1922. The architectural complex stands out in the middle of the city, identifying an era and telling a new history to the future.

Credits: Story

President of Brazil
Michel Temer

Minister of State for Culture
Roberto Freire

President of Brazilian Museums Institute
Marcelo Mattos Araújo

Director of National History Museum
Paulo Knauss de Mendonça

Administrative Coordinator
Américo David Aurélio

Technical Coordinator
Vania Drummond Bonelli

Thanks to
José Caldas
Lau Torquato
Ricardo Bhering

MHN – 2017

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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