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Petrópolis

Petrópolis, is also known as Brazil´s Imperial City, is a small town located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, 65 kilometres away from Rio de Janeiro city. Located in the mountain range known as Serra Fluminense, in Rio de Janeiro State, is one of the favourite getaways for cariocas, the Rio de Janeiro residents.

With A cool weather, historic buildings, plenty of ecotourism and adventure opportunities, and charming hotels, Petrópolis is the closest mountain resort around Rio and often thought of as part of a trio of towns that also includes Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo.

Set amongst the lush hills of the Serra dos Órgãos (Organ Hills), in the valley of the Quitandinha and Piabanha rivers, Petrópolis is a very popular summer holiday resort. Besides its gentle climate and beautiful surroundings, the town´s main attraction is the Summer Palace of the second Brazilian Emperor, Pedro II, which has been turned into a museum of Imperial Brazil history and memorabilia.

But Petrópolis is not only about relaxing, it is also seat of the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC). The LNCC is a research unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Federal Government.

Location

Petropolis is located in a small mountain land, in an area of 811 square kilometres. Originally, it was a lowly populated region. But when the emperor developed the summer resort, the settlement of new farmers started. Petropolis has grown to be an important health resort.

Getting to Petropolis is a memorable journey, which takes two hours from Rio de Janeiro. Local buses are frequent and cheap.



History of Petropolis

In 1830 Emperor D. Pedro I bought a "fazenda" (estate) there because he loved the climate and beauty of the place. Thirteen tears after, his son D. Pedro II founded the city, meant to seat the court of Brazil. Still today the city has that nobility air, preserving its aristocratic houses and the Imperial Palace, which is now a Museum that keeps the Imperial times heritage.

Tourist attractions

Other attractions include the Santos Dumont House, the Quitandinha, the Crystal Palace, São Pedro de Alcântara Cathedral, Rio Negro Palce and the houses of Baron of Mauá, Princess Isabel and Rui Barbosa. The impressive Baron of Itaipava Castle, 15 km from downtown is also worth a visit.

For shopping you should check Rua Teresa, a true shopping centre under the sky. Itaipava, besides hotels and restaurants has ceramics, furniture and antique shops. Some of the events in the Petropolis calendar include the Bauernfest and the Winter Festival.

Petropolis has a great natural environment that offer visitors the chance to practice rafting on Paraibuna river, rappel descent in the Véu da Noiva waterfall, eco riding in the Haras Analu, eco trekking on the Órgãos Hills and the Tinguá Natural Preserve. Also worth visiting is the old "Emperor´s Road" that communicates Petrópolis with Paty do Alferes through the Couto Hills, a lovely and scenic 36 km road.

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