Explore the art and culture of Belem during a half-day tour of this historic city.
Depart the pier for the drive and visit to the Teatro da Paz. Located in Belem's main square, the Opera House remains a bold testament to the city's former rubber fortunes. This 19th-century Rococo building was recently restored to its original glory, and once hosted such famous performers as Anna Pavlova.
From here, you will next make your way to the Museum of Sacred Art, or Museu de Arte Sacra. Inaugurated in September 1998, this important cultural museum is the first of its kind in the Amazonian region. It is comprised of a 17th-century Baroque Church, or Igreja de Santo Alexandre, and the Episcopal Palace, or Palace Episcopal. Considered Brazil's most important museum, the Museum of Sacred Art is home to more than 300 pieces of sacred art pieces, which can be seen on display in the Fidanza Gallery, or Galery Fidanza.
Leaving the Museum, a 20-minute escorted walk brings you to Presépio Fort, or Forte do Presépio, a 17th-century fortress that served as the original hub of the city. Its main attraction is the Encontro Museum, or Museu do Encontro, which recreates the history of the Tupiunambá Indians prior, during and after the Portuguese settlement. Here, you will view displays of igaçabas from the marajoara funerary urns, along with Chinese coins and other artifacts brought in after the city's colonization. Out on the patio, you will find original 19th-century canyons that were modeled after American-made cannons and used during Belem's wartime past.
Rejoining your coach, you will continue on to the Jewel Museum, or São José Liberto, formerly used as a prison until just a few years ago. After a rebellion in 2000, its inmates were transferred and the facility was converted into the Museum of Pará. Here, gold, diamonds, emeralds, tourmalines, and other precious and semi-precious gems comprise the Museum's patrimony. During your visit, you will explore the history and mining of Amazonia. Of special note is a display of the state's first jewelry collection, the Pará, Amazonian, which began in 1999.