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Município de Petrópolis
Cathedral of Petrópolis

Nickname(s): The Imperial City
Motto: "Altiora Semper Petens"
(Latin for, "Always looking for the top most")
Petrópolis is located in Brazil
Location of Petrópolis
Coordinates: 22°30′18″S 43°10′44″W / 22.505°S 43.17889°W / -22.505; -43.17889
Country Brazil
Region Southeast
State Rio de Janeiro
 - Prefeito Paulo Mustrangi (PT)
 - Total 811 km2 (313.1 sq mi)
Elevation 809.5 m (2,656 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 312.183
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)

Coordinates: 22°30′18″S 43°10′44″W / 22.505°S 43.17889°W / -22.505; -43.17889

Petrópolis, also known as The Imperial City of Brazil, is a town in the state of Rio de Janeiro, about 65 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Nestled among the forested hills of the Serra dos Órgãos, in the valley of the Quitandinha and Piabanha rivers, Petrópolis is a popular summer holiday spot. Besides the climate and surroundings, the main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian Emperor, which is now a museum, specializing in Imperial history and memorabilia.

Petrópolis is home to the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), a research unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Federal Government.


The town's name ("city of Peter") honors Emperor Pedro II, the nation's second monarch and son of Pedro I. The city was the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century, and was the official capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1903.

The town's origins can be traced to Bernardo Soares de Proença, who in 1720 opened an alternative route between Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, across the Serra da Estrela. While traveling to Minas Gerais along this route, Emperor Pedro I found the region's climate pleasant. Thus, in 1830 he bought a farm, and had his Summer Palace built there, but he never saw it finished, because he stepped down from the throne. Other Brazilian aristocrats eventually followed suit. Pedro's Palace is nowadays the Imperial Museum, one of the main attractions of the 'alpine city' of Petrópolis, together with the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcântara, the Crystal Palace and the House of Santos-Dumont. The 'Imperial City' became in due time home for artists, intellectuals and celebrities, and by the twentieth century, one of the main tourist attractions in the country.

German farmers from the Rhineland were encouraged to immigrate and to settle on the Emperor's outlying lands, to help give the Palace a charming urban setting. The settlement of Petrópolis was founded on March 16, 1843, being promoted to district in 1844 and finally city in 1857. The road connecting the city to Rio de Janeiro was opened in 1910 and paved in 1928. The urban design was carried out by Major-Engineer Julius Friedrich Koeler.

On a visit at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876, Pedro II was impressed by Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, and had a line connecting his Summer Palace to his farm headquarters.

Even after the establishment of the Republic and the exile of the Imperial family in 1889, the city continued to play a significant role in Brazilian history. Curiously, it was a frequent choice as summer residence for presidents of the republic, who lodged at the Palace of Rio Negro. In 1903 the Palace of Rio Negro saw the signing of a peace treaty with Bolivia, which gave Brazil the Acre territory. On August 15, 1947, the Organization of American States opened there the Conference for the Maintenance of Peace and Security in the Continent, from which derived the Interamerican Treaty for Reciprocal Assistance.

International events

Petrópolis (city of Peter) was one of the two cities who held the Interzonal Chess tournament of 1973. Coincidentally, the other city was Leningrad, former Petrograd (city of Peter).

External links


Redirecting to Petrópolis

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Museu Imperial
The Museu Imperial

Petrópolis is a city in Rio de Janeiro (state). It is also known as The Imperial City of Brazil.

Nestled among the forested hills of the Serra dos Órgãos, in the valley of the Quitandinha and Piabanha rivers, Petrópolis is a popular summer holiday spot. Besides the climate and surroundings, the main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the Brazilian Emperors, which is now a museum, specializing in Imperial history and memorabilia.

Petrópolis is home to the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), a research unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Federal Government.


In the 1830s, the area of modern day Petrópolis was little more than farmland. When Emperor Dom Pedro I went through there on his way to Minas Gerais, he was struck by the scenery and decided to buy some land. Dom Pedro I returned to Portugal soon after and the land was passed to his son, Dom Pedro II who built a summer retreat. Soon a palace was built along with mansions and a cathedral, giving its nickname, "The Imperial City".

Map locator of Rio de Janeiro's Petrópolis city
Map locator of Rio de Janeiro's Petrópolis city

The only way into Petrópolis is by road. Buses run from the the major cities in the area such as Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte as well as places further afield such as São Paulo and Brasília.

  • Única, +55 (21) 2263-8792. This company runs buses from Rio de Janeiro (1 hour) about every 20 minutes (Try and get a seat on the left hand side of the bus for the best views). You get dropped off at the Leonel Brizola bus station in Bingen about 10km from town. Take the local bus number 100 (R$2) or 010 (R$2.50) into the city center. Ask to be dropped off at Praca Libertad. R$14.5.  edit

Get around

All the main tourist sights are close to the center and are easily accessible on foot. There is numerous bus services in and around town but the number 100 or 010 are the ones most useful to visitors which run from the center to the Leonel Brizola bus station in Bingen.

  • Imperial Coop, Rua do Imperador 288, Centro, +55 (24) 2246-0066. This car hire place is really only useful if you plan on visiting the area around the city  edit
  • Taxi, +55 (0800) 241-516. If you're in need of a taxi, you can call this company or just hail one of the many driving around town  edit
Catedral de São Pedro de Alcântara in Petrópolis.
Catedral de São Pedro de Alcântara in Petrópolis.
  • Museu Imperial (Imperial Museum), Rua da Imperatriz 220, +55 (24) 2237-8000, [1]. 11am-5:30pm Tue-Sun. One of the cities highlights. The weekend house of Dom Pedro II and his wife, Dona Teresa. The well preserved building has a collection of royal exibits aswell as a 1.7kg diamond and pearl studded crown. Adults R$8 , Students R$4.  edit
  • Catedral de São Pedro de Alcântara (Cathedral of St. Peter of Alcântara), Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 60, +55 (24) 2242-4300. 8am-Noon & 2-6pm Tue-Sun. Housing the tombs of Dom Pedro II, Dona Teresa and their daughter Princesa Isabel, this is a fine cathedral that has great views from its steps. Free.  edit
  • Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), Rua Alfredo Pachá, +55 (24) 2247-3721. 9am-5:30pm Tue-Sun. A greenhouse built for Princesa Isabela in France and brought to Brazil in 1884. Free.  edit
  • Rios Brasileiros Rafting, Room 104, Rua Silva Jardim 514, +55 (24) 2243-4372, [2]. This company organizes rafting and hiking trip around the area. They have English and Portuguese speaking guides.  edit
  • Trekking Petrópolis, +55 (24) 2235-7607, [3]. This company organises hikes, mountain biking and other activities in the Mata Atlântica rainforest.  edit


Like most towns and cities in Brazil, anything that you could want to buy would most likely in the main street Rua do Imperador. However if its clothes you're after you can't go wrong with Rua Teresa. This street has more clothes stores than you need aswell as a few good places to eat. Here are some good choices.

  • Taco Roupa, Rua 16 de Março 364 e 366 Centro, 25655, +55 (24) 2242-8785, [4]. A chain of clothing stores throughout Brazil.  edit
  • Sendas, Rua General Rondon 1015, Quitandinha, +55 (24) 2245-5556. A food and drink supermarket where you can pick up a whole heap of Brazilian food and drink.  edit
  • Majórica Churrascaria, Rua do Imperador 754, +55 (24) 2242-2498. Noon-10pm Tue-Sun. A great Churrascaria not far from the Meseu Imperial. R$24-44.  edit
  • Bistrô Petit Palais, Av Imperatriz 220 (Within the Museu Imperial complex), +55 (24) 2237-8000. Noon-7pm Tue-Sun. A nice little bistro serving pastries and some hot dishes. From R$16.  edit
  • Las Delicias (The Delight), Rua Gonçalves Dias 423, +55 (24) 2231-6033. This is a good Brazilian style buffet. Good for a quick cheap bite of local Brazilian foods. Less than R$20.  edit
  • Locanda della Mimosa, Alameda das Mimosas 30, Vale Florida, +55 (24) 2233-5405. 12:30-3:30pm Sat & Sun, 8-11:30pm Fri & Sat. This place may be expensive but the exotic foods are impressive. Reservations are highly recommended. 3-course dinner R$120.  edit


Drinking is pretty thin in Petrópolis but there are a few good chopperias on Rua do Imperador.

  • Pousada 14 Bis, Rua Buenos Aires 192 (A few blocks from the bus station), +55 (24) 2231-0946, [5]. This place has nice quiet rooms and is close to the bus station. Double from R$70.  edit
  • Hotel Colonial Inn, Rua Monsenhor Bacelar 125, +55 (24) 2243-1590. Beautiful antique style rooms with a nice feel. Double from R$140.  edit
  • Quitandinha Hostel, Rua Uruguai, 570 (The quickest way is to take bus 180 or 480 and avoid a connexion in the city center. Get off when you see the lake with the fake lighthouse and climb the stairs on the left of the palacio.). HI affiliated hostel located outside of the center in the quiet Quitandinha neighboorhood. 4 beds dormrooms in a wooden house, clean but worned out sheets, clean bathroom, friendly and helpful staff. Varied all you can eat breakfast. They cook basic but filling meals for RS6 at night. R$35.  edit
  • CompuLand, Rua 16 de Março 326, Centro, [6]. 9am-7pm Mon-Sat & 9am-6pm Sun. This centrally located internet café has high speed internet. R$2/hr.  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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