Petrópolis is a charming city in the mountainous region of Rio, where the royal family of the Empire of Brazil settled during the summer. To escape from the crowds, Cariocas nowadays drive up into the hills north of Rio to Petrópolis where the temperatures are cool and the scenery is spectacular.

A brief history about Petrópolis

In 1845, Emperor Dom Pedro II started the construction of the palace which gave rise to the city of Petrópolis. It was the Emperor himself who commissioned Petrópolis and gave the city its name. The original project, by Júlio Frederico Koeler, was followed and completed two years later by the architects Joaquim Cândido Guilhobel and José Maria Jacinto Rebelo. With the guidance of the emperor himself, the gardens were designed by Jean-Baptiste Binot and contained rare species of flora from five continents. Over the 165 years of its existence, the Palace served as a summer residence and educational establishment until it became the Imperial Museum in 1943.

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Petrópolis today

Petrópolis today has become a favourite winter holiday spot for Cariocas. The city combines the charm of the buildings from the imperial era with cool forested hills at an elevation of 838m and a quality infrastructure - comfortable hotels, good restaurants and varied shops. One can also experience the flourishing exuberance of nature through the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, full of trails, waterfalls and natural viewpoints.