One of the most impressive buildings in Sao Paulo is the elegant and palatial Museu Paulista. Lovely manicured gardens decorate the grounds surrounding the stately building giving the site an air of sophistication not unlike that of France’s Versailles. Built originally as a monument to Brazilian independence from Portugal in the late 1800’s, Museu Paulista now functions as a Brazilian history museum.
One of Sao Paulo’s most visited sites, the museum is dedicated to preserving Brazil’s rich history. A vast collection of 125,000 artefacts are on display and represent over 400 years of Brazilian history. Historically significant items include photos, maps and clothing as well as a large collection of printed materials, all of which convey the important stories of the past. Valuable paintings and sculptures also grace the museum, most of which depict the heroes of the Brazilian independence movement.
The vast building itself was built between 1885 and 1890 to honour the declaration of Brazilian independence on 7 September 1822. It took several decades to decide what type of monument to build in order to mark the occasion when in 1884 an Italian architect presented his plans for the Renaissance style palace. Ornate fountains and landscaped gardens adorn the front of the museum and form part of Parque da Independência or Independence Park.
While bus service to the park and museum is quite regular there are no nearby subway stations. The closest subway station is Alto do Ipiranga on the Metro L2 line. Approximately 3 blocks east of the station is Avenue Nazarè which leads directly to the park. Turn left on Nazarè (going north) and catch a bus or taxi proceeding north. The street however does become one-way traffic in a south bound direction about two blocks south of the park so taxis and bus service will need to cut over one or two blocks to continue north.