Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Rio de Janeiro

Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Rio de Janeiro

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is revered as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It has the most expansive collection of Portuguese literature outside Portugal.

The building was finished in 1887 in the Neo-Manueline style. This design is reminiscent of the Gothic-Renaissance style popular during the reign of King Manuel (from 1495-1521). During this time, the Portuguese were beginning to discover the New World.

Emperor Pedro II laid the cornerstone in 1880, and Imperial Princess Isabel inaugurated the building in 1887. The Jerónimos Monastery inspired the facade in Lisbon. It was made from local stone in Lisbon and then transferred by ship to Rio de Janeiro. Four statues decorate the exterior. They represent Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões, and Pedro Álvares Cabral.

The interior is spectacular, with the book collection towering three stories tall around the reading area. The reading room features a stained-glass skylight with a cast iron frame, allowing natural light to illuminate the library. An elegant chandelier hangs from the Reading Room's ceiling. A statue of Pedro Álvares Cabral, credited as the European discoverer of Brazil, stands in the reading room.

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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Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading on Map

Sight Name: Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading
Sight Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (See walking tours in Rio de Janeiro)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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