Fodor's Expert Review Biblioteca Nacional
Corinthian columns adorn the neoclassical National Library (built between 1905 and 1908), the first such establishment in Latin America. Its original archives were brought to Brazil by King João VI in 1808. The library contains roughly 13 million books, including two 15th-century printed Bibles, manuscript New Testaments from the 11th and 12th centuries, and volumes that belonged to Empress Teresa Christina. Also here are first-edition Mozart scores, as well as scores by Carlos Gomes, who adapted the José de Alencar novel about Brazil's Indians, O Guarani, into an opera of the same name.
Nonmembers can see the library by guided tour only (weekdays 10--5); tours are given in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Visitors will need photo ID to enter.