Casa da Suiça
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Inaugurated in 2004, the Memorial Getúlio Vargas stands as testament to the President who pushed the Republic into modernity, at the same time pushing himself to the limits of the aristocracy's patience and ultimately towards taking his own life. In doing so, he passed into the history of the country as a fallen hero of the people, an enduring symbol of industrial Brazil that also lives on in the booming avenue in Centro road takes his name.
The first President to recognise and address 'the people' as one, his death was received with anger and disbelief by the masses, and ultimately a collective outpouring of grief. The memorial, a huge bust of Vargas' head and an Oscar Niemeyer fountain above ground, holds below a museum telling, chronolgoically, the story of his years in office along the walls of a huge circular room. Split into eight sections, it begins with his arrival in Rio and life in the Catete Palace where he would ultimately end his own life, moving on to the huge public works projects that re-drew Rio as a city and the huge legacy he bestowed upon it. From the ire of his fellow politicians and the distrustful upper classes to the love of the people, it is a gripping journey and a beautiful, quite unique, underground museum experience.
13 Aug 2012.