Palácio Tiradentes

Rio de Janeiro

The stately Tiradentes Palace houses the seat of the legislative assembly. Exhibits on the 1st and 2nd floors relate the events that have taken place here since 1926. One of its darkest hours was when the National Assembly was shut down in 1937 under the Vargas dictatorship; it later served as the Department of Press and Propaganda.

Free guided tours, available in English, take you through some of the old legislative chambers as well as into the gallery overlooking the present-day assembly hall.

The statue in front, incidentally, is not a likeness of Russian mystic Rasputin, but rather that of martyr Tiradentes, who led the drive toward Brazilian independence in the 18th century. He was imprisoned in one of the former holding cells beneath the building.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio de Janeiro attractions

1. Paço Imperial

0.03 MILES

The former imperial palace was originally built in 1743 as a governor's residence. Later it became the home of Dom João and his family when the Portuguese…

2. Praça XV (Quinze) de Novembro

0.05 MILES

The first residents on this historic site were Carmelite fathers who built a convent here in 1590. It later came under the property of the Portuguese…

3. Museu Naval

0.05 MILES

Chronicling the history of the Brazilian navy from the 16th century to the present, this museum also has exhibitions of model warships, maps and…

4. Arco de Teles

0.08 MILES

The archway leading into Travessa do Comércio was once part of an old viaduct running between two buildings.

6. Travessa do Comércio

0.13 MILES

Beautiful two-story colonial town houses line this narrow cobblestone street leading off Praça XV (Quinze) de Novembro. The archway (Arco de Teles)…

7. Espaço Cultural da Marinha


Naval enthusiasts shouldn't miss this waterfront museum, a short stroll from Praça XV. It contains the Riachuelo submarine, which you can wander through,…

8. Centro Cultural Correios

0.24 MILES

In a grand edifice dating from the 1920s, this cultural center houses three spacious floors that host a creative lineup of changing exhibitions, mostly…