National Fine Arts Museum, Rio de Janeiro

National Fine Arts Museum, Rio de Janeiro

Open since 1937, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (MNBA) boasts a collection of works by Brazilian and international artists dating back as far as the 1700s. Its exhibitions include sculptures, engravings, paintings and illustrations as well as decorative artworks such as furniture, medals, folk handicrafts and even some pieces of African Art. You can easily spend a day here.

The style of the building, designed by Spanish architect Adolfo Morales de los Ríos, is clearly inspired by the Louvre Museum in Paris. But during the construction the project was modified, possibly by Rodolfo Bernardelli and, later, by Archimedes Memoria. As a result, the building presents an eclectic design, with facades modeled after different styles.

The main façade toward Avenida Rio Branco is inspired by French Renaissance, the side façades are plainer and make reference to Italian Renaissance. They are adorned with Parisian mosaics with figures of architects, painters and art theorists, such as Vasari, Vitruvius and da Vinci. The interior decoration is based in the use of noble materials, such as marble, mosaics, stucco, crystal, French ceramic and statuary. The building was listed as a national heritage work on 24 May 1973.

Why You Should Visit:
To see the wealth of Rio when it was the capital of Brasil for centuries, getting a sense of the country's art history in a very relaxed manner.
Besides, admission to this old and well-preserved building is very inexpensive and seniors (even foreign) can get in for free.
If there is one building or one activity in Rio de Janeiro that proves the city isn't just beaches and cocktails, it's this.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rio de Janeiro. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Fine Arts Museum on Map

Sight Name: National Fine Arts Museum
Sight Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (See walking tours in Rio de Janeiro)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Rio de Janeiro

Create Your Own Walk in Rio de Janeiro

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rio de Janeiro is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Rio de Janeiro Introduction Walking Tour

Rio de Janeiro Introduction Walking Tour

Rio de Janeiro is the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro. It was founded in 1565 by the Portuguese. It was the capital of the State of Brazil of the Portuguese Empire from 1763 until 1822.

When Brazil became independent of Portugal in 1822, Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the Empire of Brazil. In 1889, Brazil became a republican nation, with Rio de Janeiro as its capital. But in...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
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The Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are two of the main reasons Rio is so famous around the world. While Copacabana is a year-round tourist hub, famed for its incredible New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Ipanema and Leblon neighborhoods have the cleanest, safest, most beautiful beaches in the city, and are the favorite playgrounds of Rio de Janeiro’s upper-middle class.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Rio's Top Religious Sites

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Due to the legacy of the Portuguese in language, religion, and law, Rio de Janeiro has had a rich and influential Catholic tradition. Until the mid-20th century almost all Brazilians were – at least nominally – Catholic, and today the country’s religious sites, both classic and modern, impress with their skill, creativity and devotion.

Founded in 1590 by Benedictine monks from Bahia, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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