Facade of Palácio Tiradentes
Day 2, 10.30
Mineiro in Rio
Downtown Rio. I continued my walk and I only had to cross the street for another historical building. In front of this building was a statue of a man, wearing a long mantle. It is the statue of Tiradentes, resistance leader in Minas Gerais, who was executed in 1792. The revolt he was leading was an important step in the independence process of Brazil. A mineiro in Rio, in front of the building that is named after him: Palácio Tiradentes. The Brazilian House of Representatives was having the meetings here, from 1926 until 1960. Then the House moved to the new capital: Brasília. Until 1975, the parliament of the state of Guanabara was having the meetings. The state of Guanabara then merged with the former Federal District to the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The statue of Tiradents in front of the
Right: the standard bearing an eagle.
The Palace is built in the eclectic style: a mix of historical architecture styles are incorporated in this building. At first sight, it appears a copy of some European historical building, with elements of a more modern style: the essence of the eclectic style. The front counts six pillars and is flanked by allegories of the independent nation of Brazil: Ordem (order) and Progresso (progress). Critics consider the motto “Ordem e Progresso” as a contradiction: social inequality and the small steps made in the development of Brazil, compared to the huge steps of progress in countries like China and even Argentina. The shield bearing the motto “Ordem” displays a five-pointed star that is surrounded by a laurel. The southern Cross is located within the star, and is encircled by a ring of 27 stars: the 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District. The banner displays “Estados Unidos do Brasil (United States of Brazil)’ with the date of November 15, 1889. This shield was niet in an optimal condition: it deserves profound restoration to remove the cracks and traces of erosion.
Statue of Tiradentes. Right: Igreja do
Carmo and Igreja da Ordem Terceira
do Carmo, next to each other.
The shield at the other side is identical, but bears the motto ‘Progresso’. This shield is partly covered by the mantle of the seated figure, who secures the shield. The seated figure of a woman, accompanied by a child, as if the adult is teaching the child.
The roof of Palácio Tiradentes reminded me of the monument in Brussels, which commemorates the independence from The Netherlands. But here are no carriages on the roof, but a horseman with the sword pointed in the air, flanked by soldiers on foot, who protect themselves by shields. At the right, next to the pillars, are two statues of nude models who flank the shield with the motto “PAX (vrede)”.
One of the flanking statues who
symbolize Brazilian independence
Another monument is located next to the statue of Tiradentes: an eagle op top of a standard. An eagle with its wings partly spread, as if it is showing a threatening or defending behavior. This standard reminded me of the standards of the Romans. Another pillar, with a winged woman figure that secures a laurel in the air, is located on the square in front of the Palace. Without doubt, this location is full of symbols. Inside the palace, a permanent exhibition was going on, about Brazilian politics. However, the Assembly of Rio de Janeiro was having a special meeting that day. Various bodyguards were located in front of the Palace, all of them in expensive suits and with earphones. They only lacked dark sunglasses and a stoic grimace, as is common in many American movies.
Tiradentes flanked by the flags of the
state of Rio de Janeiro (l) and Brazil (r).
Below right: one of the bodyguards.
And indeed, the special meeting of the Assembly had attracted the media. Cars from various radio and TV stations were parked around the square. There was a van of well-known TV station; behind his control panel, the director was commanding his crew. Another van was parked a bit further away, with a large antenna pointed in the sky. Whatever was about to happen that day, it would be broadcasted in most Brazilian news programs. I later found out that the newly elected Assembly was inaugurated.
|Inauguration of Palácio Tiradentes
|Palácio Tiradentes – Documentary
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom