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By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Starting tonight (June 26th), it is time again to celebrate all things German in Rio’s mountainside city Petrópolis, as the traditional Bauernfest begins its ten-day festivities. The Imperial City in the Serra dos Orgãos is only a short drive out of Rio and wort a visit a this time of the year to experience a European winterly feeling.

At the Bauernfest, folklore dances in traditional costumes are performed, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
At the Bauernfest, folklore dances in traditional costumes are performed, photo courtesy of Petropolis Prefeitura.

Bauernfest is a celebration of Petrópolis’ German immigrants and has been taking place every year in June since 1990, making it the second largest event of its kind after Oktoberfest in Blumenau.

The celebrations last for ten days and this year Bauernfest expects 230,000 visitors to enjoy the German sausages, Sauerkraut and other foods, as well as folk dances, choirs and traditional bands and of course drinking beer. In 2012, there were 368,000 participants who spent R$55 million consuming 7.5 tons of sausage and 35,000 liters of beer.

Petrópolis, named after Emperor Pedro II, the nation’s second monarch and son of Pedro I, is around 68km outside of Rio in the Serra dos Orgãos mountains. It was the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors and aristocrats, due to its milder climate, and was the official capital of Rio de Janeiro state between 1894 and 1902.

The city is well worth a visit also outside Bauernfest, as it still hosts the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian emperor, which can now be visited as the Imperial Museum, giving an idea about the lifestyle of Brazil’s monarchs.

Other attractions in Petrópolis include the Crystal Palace, a glass structure imported from France, which was inspired by the glass palaces in London and Porto, the antique beer brewery Bohemia, the oldest brewery in Brazil, the house of Santos Dumont turned into a museum about the aviation pioneer’s life and the nearby mountains.

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