National Museum of Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

National Museum of Brazil

The National Museum of Brazil (Portuguese: Museu Nacional) was Brazil's oldest scientific institution. It is located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where it is installed in the Paço de São Cristóvão (Saint Christopher's Palace), which is inside the Quinta da Boa Vista. The main building was originally the residence of the Portuguese Royal Family between 1808 and 1821 and was later used to house the Brazilian Imperial Family between 1822 and 1889. After the monarchy was deposed, it hosted the Republican Constituent Assembly from 1889 to 1891 before being assigned to the use of the museum in 1892. The building was listed as Brazilian National Heritage in 1938 and was largely destroyed by a fire in 2018.

Founded by King João VI of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves on 6 June 1818, under the name of "Royal Museum", the institution was initially housed at the Campo de Santana park, where it exhibited the collections incorporated from the former House of Natural History, popularly known as Casa dos Pássaros ("House of the Birds"), created in 1784 by the Viceroy of Brazil, Luís de Vasconcelos e Sousa, 4th Count of Figueiró, as well as collections of mineralogy and zoology. The museum foundation was intended to address the interests of promoting the socioeconomic development of the country by the diffusion of education, culture, and science. In the 19th century, the institution was already established as the most important South American museum of its type. In 1946, it was incorporated into the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.



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