From the Republic Government to the History Centre, this building has an interesting and varied story behind it
If its walls could speak…
The history of Itamaraty Palace, built halfway through the 19th century on Avenida Marechal Floriano, has strong ties with Brazil's diplomatic traditions. The project was initially assigned to two French artists, but it was the Brazilian architect José Maria Jacinto Rebelo who finally took up its construction, opting for a markedly neoclassical design. Inside you can discover the building's most important legacy. Amongst its spectacular furnishings and extensive library, more than 30,000 objects relating to cartography can be found, amongst many other documents. During its first 40 years of existence, the palace was a residence for the Brazilian aristocracy's most prominent members, the Republic Government (between 1889 and 1898); and thereafter the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, until 1970 when it was moved to Brasilia. This strong link with Brazil's diplomatic body ended up giving it the name Itamaraty, an expression traditionally used by Brazilians to refer to a body of country officials. Currently, Itamaraty Palace is home to the Museum of History and Diplomacy, the Diplomatic Documentation and History Centre of the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation, and the UN Information Bureau in Brazil.
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