Rio de Janeiro:

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is a hidden gem in the city center. The library is visited by about 150-200 people a day, which is a small number considering the importance of this building, but also its incredible beauty and preservation. From the aspect of architecture, this is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Rio and definitely worth a visit.

The library was founded in 1837, but official construction began in 1880. The Portuguese architect Rafael da Silva was in charge of the project. The idea to form the library originally arose among a group of Portuguese immigrants who wanted to expand their knowledge of Portuguese culture on another continent. In front of the library are statues of four Portuguese researchers Pedro Alvarez Cabral, Vasco da Gama, Infante D. Henrique and Luis de Camoes.

The library keeps a collection of about 350.000 books, Portuguese and other foreign editions, national books. Every year, Portugal sends 6.000 new titles to this library. The library contains extremely rare editions almost 500 years old, such as “Princesa Os Lusíadas de Camões” from 1572 and “As Ordenações D. Manuela” from 1521. Significant paintings by famous artists such as Jose Malhoa, Carlos Reis, Eduardo Malta and Henrique Medina are on display in the Royal Library.

The library plays a big role in preserving the cultural heritage and really deserves the attention of its visitors. You can visit one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, an imposing facade, an impressive reading room and all the details of this complex of great architectural and cultural importance for Portugal and Brazil.

AdmissionThe Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading is FREE

Opening hours of The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading
Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

Photo credit:  Benjamin Hemer,

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