The imposing Palacio do Catete was Brazil’s presidential palace from 1894 until 1960 when Brasilia became the capital of Brazil.
The buildings now house the Museu da Republica with a focus on art and period furnishings from the Republican period and presidential memorabilia. It also hosts changing exhibitions about Brazil’s cultural heritage.
The Palacio has been beautifully restored and even the bedroom where president Getulio Vargas committed suicide in 1954 has been preserved and is on show. The architecture of the buildings built between 1858 and 1866, with their luxe white marble and intricate stained glass, are worth a visit alone.
The surrounding gardens are now a park and used as a respite from the busy city by the locals. There is also a cinema showing movies specialising in arthouse films.
The easiest way to get to Palacio do Catete is to catch the metro to Catete station which is located opposite the palacio.