The Santos Dumont House Museum celebrates the life and accomplishments of a pioneer of aviation, Alberto Santos Dumont. His summer home in Petrópolis has been transformed into a small museum that gives visitors a peak into the famed-inventor’s life, who many don’t realize is disputed as the inventor of the airplane.
Built climbing up the hillside, this charming chalet is filled with peculiarities, reflective of Santos Dumont’s creativity and intellect. The house has three neatly compact floors, connected by a staircase made of racquets, which forces visitors to begin their ascent with the right foot. A highlight is the shower that Santos Dumont built himself while living there in the early 1900s, made out of a perforated bucket with a homemade alcohol water heater. In the living room are various artifacts and knick-knacks like Santos Dumont’s old notebooks, letters and clothing, an antique telephone, original blueprints, and old photographs. The top floor is home to the bedroom and a viewpoint that the inventor used as an astronomical observatory. Informational panels in multiple languages are on display throughout the museum, and there’s also a short film about Santos Dumont’s life, inventions and accomplishments.
The Museu Casa de Santos Dumont is located at Rua do Encanto, 22 in the city-center of Petrópolis. It is open Tuesday–Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is R$8 for adults, $4 for students, and free for children under 7 and seniors over 65.