Be prepared to be wowed! You can't miss Teatro Municipal and Biblioteca National when visiting Rio de Janeiro!
No visit to Rio can be complete without going to Teatro Municipal and Biblioteca National. The first Inaugurated in 1909, the Municipal theatre is one of the main show houses of Brazil and Latin America. The building recently had a renovation, during which gems like a large original panel of the Italian Eliseu Visconti was rescued. Important areas of it was restored, with a highlight to the impressive eagle that garnishes the construction top, covered with 8,000 sheets of 23-karat gold.
At Biblioteca Nacional, you will find centuries of history. The Municipal Theatre has drawn international artists and important names from Brazilian culture, including dancers, musicians, opera singers, and performing artists. Since the 30s, the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro has maintained its artistic independence, and is the only Brazilian institution to have its own choir, a symphony orchestra, and ballet company.
You can see an impressive collection of over 9 million volumes, including rare books and manuscripts, at the neoclassical National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), the largest in Latin America. A guide will talk you through the treasure-trove, and show you original letters written by Princess Isabel, the first newspapers printed in the country, and two copies of the precious Mainz Psalter Bible, printed in 1492. By law, a copy of every book published in Brazil has to be held in the library. As the oldest cultural institution in the country, during your visit you will see Brazil, quite literally, through the pages of history.