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Palácio Tiradentes

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Introduction to Palácio Tiradentes
Palácio Tiradentes
Patricia Ribeiro

Palácio Tiradentes, in historic central Rio de Janeiro (Centro Histórico), is the seat of Rio de Janeiro's Legislative Assembly. It also has a permanent multimedia exhibit which first opened to the public, with guided tours, in 2008.

Opened in 1926, the palace in Eclectic style occupies the site of the old jail where Tiradentes, the leader of the greatest colonist conspiracy against Portugal, was held before his execution by hanging on April 21, 1792. The original building was demolished in 1922.

The palace housed the Brazilian Congress from 1926 to 1960, when Rio was still the capital of Brazil. In a sinister turn for the building's history and purpose, during the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship (1930-1945) it housed the regime's Department of Press and Propaganda.

The Building

The architecture of Palácio Tiradentes is one of the main reasons to visit. The building designed by Archimedes Memória and Francisque Cuchet has an impressive facade with six columns. As you look at the building from the street, note the two largest sculptures at the top. They represent D. Pedro I, who proclaimed the Independence of Brazil (left), and Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca, who proclaimed the Republic (right).

The smaller statues between the heroes represent Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation and Industry.

Inside, the dome is covered with a stained glass panel which represents the sky in Brazil on the morning of the Proclamation of Republic, November 15, 1889.

The dome was created by Brazilian artist Gastão Formentti and completely restored by Ópera Prima Arquitetura e Restauro, a Rio de Janeiro company.

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