Petropolis, City of Pedros

Petrópolis – mountain city of Rio de Janeiro State where the Imperial Family and the Brazilian Court used to stay in the summers, since the 1850´s. Even in the Brazilian “Old Republic” (1889-1930) and Vargas Era (1930-1945) it was there, precisely at the Rio Negro Palace, that the Presidents ruled Brazil.

9:00 – Meeting at the Statue of the Redeemeress,

in the Avenida Princesa Isabel, corner of Copacabana Beach, in front of the former Le Méridien Hotel — today Windsor Leme Hotel.

Travelling by van.

10:00 – Arriving in Petropolis and regarding the Quitandinha,

a luxury hotel built during the rule of President Getulio Vargas (1930-1945) to throw great parties.

10:30 – Saint Peter of Alcantara Cathedral.

Saint Peter of Alcantara was the patron saint of the Empire and is still the second-patron of Brazil. The construction of the Petropolis Cathedral began in 1876, but the celebratory first Mass was not held until 1925. Dona Isabel worked hardly for the erection of the church.

Inside the Cathedral we found the Imperial Mausoleum where Dom Pedro II, Empress Dona Teresa Cristina (b. Pcss of the Two Siciles), Dona Isabel and Dom Gastão (Count of Eu) are buried. In the 1990s the mortal remains of Dom Pedro de Alcantara and Dona Elisabeth of Orleans-and-Braganza were transferred to this necropolis. We wait for the reburial of the second and third sons of the Redeemeress, besides her daughter-in-law and grandson.

Also, the remains of  two of the three Bishops of Petropolis are in the Cathedral, behind the high altar: D. Manuel Pedro da Cunha Cintra (1906-1999) and D. José Fernandes Veloso (1916-2006).

11:00 – Visit to the Princess´ Palace

(former residence of the Redeemeress) and a promenade on Koeler Avenue.

The avenue honours the memory of Major Julius Friedrich Koeler (1804-1847), a Rhenane engineer who designed the urban plan of the Imperial Colony of Petropolis and encouraged German colonization in the city.

11:15 – There is much to learn at this former Imperial Palace,

which is one of the most visited museums of Brazil — almost 1000 visitors per-day.

13:00-  Lunch at Solar do Império, Koeler Avenue.

14:30 – Visiting Santos Dumont’s House Museum – “The Charmed One”.

External visit to the former Hotel Orléans, today seat of the Catholic University of Petropolis (UCP), and to the Flower Clock.
Alberto Santos-Dumont (1873-1932) was the inventor of 14 BIS, the airplane that flew over Paris (1906), witnessed by a thousand people, including D. Isabel I, who was a kind of “mother” to the Brazilian “Father of the Aviation”.

15:30 The Crystal Palace.

The Crystal Palace was built in 1879 by the Anonymous Society of Saint-Sauvers Les Arras, France, for the Petropolis Horticultural Association, headed by the Count of Eu.

The most memorable event ever to take place at the Crystal Palace was held on Easter Sunday, 1888, when the Redeemeress, escorted by all her children, granted manumission papers to a number of slaves who had been freed by their masters thanks to a remarkably successful fund-raising campaign.

The whole area surrounding the major pavilion, composed of gardens and waterworks, is currently known as Crystal Palace, and not just the steel and glass structure in itself.

16:30 – Time for shopping,

in the Petropolis´ most famous commercial street: Rua Teresa.

17:30-  The end of Petropolis City of Pedros, and return to Rio.