I had read about the Museum of the Republic and was intrigued by the description as the building is the place where one of the last presidents of Brazil committed suicide in order to avoid a miliary coupe about fifty years ago. Oddly, his death did indeed delay the military as the people took the streets in sympathy and mourning for him.
With such a unique background I was prepared to enjoy the museum, but sadly the museum is 90% in Portuguese with no translations. There is supposedly an English audioguide but it was either unavailable or nonfunctional the day we visited. The first floor is all exhibits explained in Portuguese, so we practically jogged through those, and headed up to the second floor.
The Museum was once called Catete Palace and the second floor meeting rooms are opulent, with crystal chandelierrs, marble columns, elegant furniture, and wall paper that reminded me of Versailles. It was easy to see why it was called a palace based on the second floor.
The third floor had the room of President Vargas, who killed himself there, and it was completely in tact from the day he died. Even the clock was stopped at the time he died. It was morbid but also a bit interesting. What surprised me the most was how simple his rooms were compared to the opulent palace atmosphere just one floor below.
The gardens behind the Museum were lovely and worth a visit as well. All in we spent about an hour in the Museum, and while it was cheap (R$3 per person), I can't imagine that it will be a great stop for anyone who doesn't speak or read Portuguese.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.