Uncovering Rio de Janeiro’s History: Artistic Tiles from the 19th Century Discovered at the Catete Palace

Museum. Rio de Janeiro RJ 03, 2023.

Regia Marinho
4 min readMar 14


Archaeological excavation at the Catete Palace was made recently.

Get ready to uncover a piece of Rio de Janeiro’s rich history! The Catete Palace, a building that has witnessed more iconic events than can be found in any book, has recently unveiled a fascinating discovery.

Last month, during an excavation for the modernization of the sewer system, exquisite 19th-century artistic tiles were uncovered, leaving even the most seasoned experts in awe.

The Palacio do Catete is now the Museu da República. Location: Catete, Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Brazil.

It is an urban mansion in Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo neighborhood. The property stretches from Rua do Catete (Catete Street) to Praia do Flamengo (Flamengo Beach). Construction began in 1858 and ended in 1867.

From 1897 to 1960, it was Brazil’s presidential palace and the site of Getúlio Vargas’ suicide.

It now houses the Museu da República (Republic Museum) and a theatre.

The Catete Palace, now the Museum of the Republic, continues to surprise us with its secrets.

The building was built as the residence of the family of the Portuguese-born Brazilian coffee producer António Clemente Pinto, Baron of Nova Friburgo, in the then capital of the Empire of Brazil.

The Baron and Baroness of Nova Friburgo with a model of the Catete Palace in the background, 19th century.

It was called the Palace of Largo Valdetaro and the Palace of Nova Friburgo.

Built between 1858 and 1867, the palace was the brainchild of German architect Carl Friedrich Gustav Waehneldt.

Despite its grandeur, little was known about the original structure of the building until now.

Tiles at the entrance to the Museum of the Republic, formerly Catete Palace.

Photo: Tyba

The tiles were found 75 centimeters below the ground and are in impeccable condition.



Regia Marinho

I write about ideas, technology, the future and inspire the world through art. Artist. Civil engineer. https://regiaart.com