Fodor's Expert Review Palácio de Cristal
The Crystal Palace, a stained-glass and iron building made in France and assembled in Brazil, is rather less grand than its name suggests, resembling a large and very ornate greenhouse, but is worth a visit nonetheless. The palace was a wedding present to Princesa Isabel from her consort, the French Count d'Eu. Their marriage was arranged by their parents—Isabel, then 18, learned of Dom Pedro II's choice only a few weeks before her wedding. The count wrote to his sister that his bride-to-be was "ugly," but after a few weeks of marriage decided he rather liked her. During the imperial years the palace was used as a ballroom: the princess held a celebration dance here after she abolished slavery in Brazil in 1888. Surrounded by pleasant gardens, the Crystal Palace is now open to the public and often hosts live classical music performances.