Ilha Fiscal - Fiscal Island

Ilha Fiscal - Fiscal Island (58)

The Fiscal Island Palace is like a whim, a neo-Gothic palace from of a fairy tale.  You can take a boat and make a highly enjoyable guided tour.

Designed by the engineer Adolfo José del Vecchio. This beautiful building began its history when, in the late nineteenth century, the Minister of Finance asked the Emperor Dom Pedro II for the construction of a customs post to facilitate control of vessels entering and leaving the port. 

Thus, the place formerly known as the island of mice (ilha dos ratos) was chosen, which was later named Fiscal Island for hosting the office of the Fiscal Guard (customs), while taking advantage of the strategic location of the small island in Guanabara Bay, very close to the mooring places of boats withdrawing from or entering goods into the port of Rio de Janeiro.

Works, which included expanding the island to almost double its size through a series of reclaimed land, began on 16 November 1881 and were concluded on 27 April 1889.

Shortly after the opening of the Fiscal Island palace what became known as "The Last Dance of the Empire" was held there. A grand party hosted by the emperor for almost five thousand guests in honour of the crew of the Chilean battleship "Admiral Cochrane". The aim was to strengthen the ties of friendship with Chile, but also to improve the prestige of the monarchy, which was quite affected by Republican ideas, but this did not work; just six days after the party the Republic was proclaimed and Dom Pedro II was forced to leave the country.

In 1893, during the famous Naval Revolt against the government of Marshal Floriano, the Fiscal Island was trapped for months in the middle of a combat between the ships and forces loyal to each side. Meanwhile, the palace suffered considerable damage from the bullets that hit its walls, roofs, windows, furniture, etc.

In 1913, it was no longer part of the Ministry of Finance and was transferred to the Ministry of the Navy, thus housing different offices throughout the years. In 2001, in coordination with the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute, major restoration works were carried out, thus recovering its splendour.

Among all its elegant beauty, the carved stone should be highlighted, which has its maximum expression in the Coat of Arms of the Empire, located over the main gate. 

On the turret, which is decorated with battlements and iron needles, a huge four-faced clock is installed that is still working perfectly today; it could be seen by ships from any point of the port and allowed people to know exactly what time it was.

As you can see, there is a predominant colour, emerald green, the colour of the House of Braganza.

Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful parts of the building is the turret, with its mosaic floor with 14 types of wood from different parts of Brazil; the stained glass windows were made in England and represent Emperor Pedro II and Princess Isabel, with their family coats of arms.

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