Petropolis is located just one-hour-and-a-half ride from Rio de Janeiro. If interested in history, Petrópolis was the location where the Imperial family and the most prominent members of the aristocracy had their summer residences.
So, while in here, you will have the opportunity to know not only the Museu Imperial (former residence of the Emperor Peter the II and his family), but also the Crystal Palace (a stunning construction made of steel and glass), the Cathedral Sao Pedro de Alcantara (where there are the tombs of Emperor Peter the II, wife Theresa Cristina, daughter Isabel and son-in-law the Count of Eu), the House of Seven MIstakes and the Museum devoted to Santos Dumont (father of aviation in Brazil), among many other interesting things.
(More information on my Petropolis page)
Petropolis is a very pleasant place to visit for a day when in Rio.
It´s situated up in the mountains and is therfor cooler than rio, so if you get too hot in rio you have an option of cooling down there.
Because of it´s climate it has been a favorite spot for the brazilian upper class over the years and when Brazil had a king the royal family spend a great deal of time there.
There is a very good museum about the brazilian royal family in petropolis that is certainly worth visiting.
Apart from that Petropolis has a lot of colonial architecture that is worth having a look at and it´s in general just a very pleasant place.
Petropolis lies 60km north of Rio de Janeiro's city centre in the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range and make's for an excellent day out as it was once the retreat of Brazil's Imperial family in the 19th century. Dom Pedro II (Brazil's last emporer) built a summer palace here in which he and his wife and children frequented regularly in order to escape from the summer heat in Rio. In fact today it's still home to the pretender to the throne, the grandson of Princess Isabel, Dom Pedro de Orleans e Bragança.
The city has a decidedly European flavour with it's lovely villas, canals, palaces and city parks. The star attraction is the Imperial summer palace which is now open to the public as a museum. The city also offers other architectural and historical sites such as the cathedral (Catedral de São Pedro de Alcântara) which houses the tombs of Dom Pedro II, his wife Teresa and their daughter Princess Isabel and her husband.
There's a regular bus service that leaves Rio's Rodoviária Novo bus station on the Facil or Unica company buses. They leave from quite early in the morning to around 10pm at night every half-hour or so and the journey takes about 1.25-1.5 hours. I think it cost me about R$11.
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Petrópolis is a town nearby Rio, where you can visit the summertime residence of Emperor Pedro II (who gave the name to the town), the Catholic University and Santos Dumont house.
Santos Dumont was the pioneer of Brazilian aviation. His house is a really odd building, that deserves a visit.
Petrópolis es una ciudad cercana a Río, en donde se puede visitar la residencia de verano del Emperador Pedro II (quien dio el nombre a la ciudad), la Universidad Católica y la casa de Santos Dumont.
Santos Dumont fue el pionero de la aviación brasileña. Su casa es un edificio realmente extraño, que merece una visita.
Quaint little mountain retreat about 1 and half hours from Rio de Janeiro. During the summer heat, it can be quite refreshing.
Petropolis: PETRO = Pedro, POLIS= city.
Pedro was the Emperor of Brasil and this was the Imperial City at that time.