Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace (49)

Welcome to the Imperial Palace of Rio de Janeiro. You are now standing in front of a building that has experienced part of the history of the city of Rio first-hand.

The building is an extension of what was the Royal Warehouse and Mint in 1733. King John V of Portugal authorised the governors of the city to construct the new House of Governors here, and the building was formally inaugurated in 1743 following the incorporation of new units to the main structure. It didn't stop functioning as the Royal Warehouse and Mint until the year 1808, when it took on the role of Royal Palace while the Quinta da Boa Vista Palace was being remodelled to accommodate the whole royal family. After completion of the works and the relocation of the court, John VI kept his office and even his throne room at the Royal Palace, where he carried out the traditional hand-kissing and granted audiences.

But there are two events that mark the historical significance of the Imperial Palace. On 9 January 1822, it was here that Don Pedro I announced that he would stay in the country and not return to Portugal, thus disobeying the orders of his father King John VI. That day is considered the beginning of the independence of Brazil, and became known as Dia do Fico, which translates as "I'm staying". Decades later, the building was renamed the Imperial Palace after the definitive independence of the country from Portugal, and on 13 May 1888 the signing of the Aurea Law, by which Princess Isabel would abolish slavery in Brazil, took place.

With the advent of the Republic, the Imperial Palace of Rio de Janeiro became the seat of the Central Postal and Telegraph Office. This change in the premises led to the great deterioration of the building until 1892, when the Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage restored it to house the Imperial Palace Cultural Centre. Its structure was restored to recall the glorious years of the palace and the doors were opened so that the public could access the exhibitions and events that take place within the building.

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