Ricardo Brennand Institute – Recife, Brazil - Atlas Obscura

Recife, Brazil

Ricardo Brennand Institute

A Tudor-style castle in Brazil holds one of the world's largest armory collections. 

Have you ever imagined Brazil as a Dutch-speaking country? That almost happened, as the Dutch occupied Brazil from 1630 to 1654. Though the Dutch left Brazil centuries ago, their armory, weapons, and influences are still present, at least at the Ricardo Brennand Institute.

The institute is housed within a contemporary building in the shape of a European castle. It’s the perfect aesthetic for a museum that takes visitors back to a time of knights and armor, weapons and chivalry.

The Ricardo Brennand Institute holds South America’s largest collection of weapons and armory: daggers, swords, maces, flails, halberds, crossbows, knives, stilettos—some even decorated with semi precious stones. The armory come from mainly European countries, though India and Japan are represented as well. The collection includes 27 full-plate armors and even protections for dogs and horses.

The castle-like building was modeled after a Tudor-style construction. It has its own coat of arms, drawbridges, and even original European altarpieces. In addition to holding its large collection of weaponry, it also houses a library full of over 60,000 items and the world’s largest collection of paintings by the renowned New World landscape artist Frans Post.

Ricardo Brennand, a Brazilian art collector, inaugurated the institute in 2002. It has offered art and cultural education programs to the local community ever since.

Know Before You Go

If you can't make it in person, see the institute's website to take a virtual tour.