RioGuides is revamping it's website, please be patient for a better experience...

  • Register

The Fiscal Island

The fiscal Island

The building, which occupies 1,000 square meters of the island, was designed in 1881 in neo-Gothic style, by engineer Adolfo del Vecchio and was inaugurated on April 27, 1889. The graceful palace was intended to house the headquarters for monitoring the import and export from the port of Rio de Janeiro. The island became famous for having housed the last ball of the court during the Empire, organized by the Visconde de Ouro Preto.


The customhouse was a design by Adolphe José Vecchio but after D. Pedro II visited the island and he was so taken by the marvelous view of the bay that he had Del Vecchio design a little palace for the island and forgot all about Vecchio's project. The design was inspired by the French gotic castles of the 14th century and was awarded with a Gold Medal from the Imperial school of Fine Arts exhibition. On November 16th 1881, the first stone for the customhouse was laid. On April 27th 1889 the building was inaugurated in the presence of  the Emperor who arrived on the island with his famous Imperial Galley ( constructed in 1808 in Bahia). The highlights of the castle are the exceptional carved stonework, by Antônio Teixeira Ruiz, the floor of the turret in mosaics made of over ten different species of hardwood, by Moreira de Carvalho and the beautiful work in cast-iron by Manuel Joaquim Moreira. Also remarkable are the wall paintings by Frederico Steckel, the tower clock and the magnificent stained-glass windows imported from England. In 2001 the castle underwent extensive restoration.

The Island became famous because of the last ball that was held on its premises, " O Baile da Ilha Fiscal", the ball took place on November 9th in 1889 in honor of the Chilean officers of the ship "Almirante Cochrane". It was the last big party of the monarchy before the proclamation of the Brazilian Republic, the 15th of that same month and year. The estimated attendance was about three to five thousand guests. The island was decorated with Chinese lanterns, French vases and Brazilian flowers.

Practical Information:

The "Espaçio da Marinha" comes without an entrance fee, you can visit a recue helicopter, a replica of an old vessel used to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the XVth century, a Brazilian submarine and last but not least  the original Imperial Galley.
to get to the fiscal Island itself you have to purchase a ticket of R$ 10,00 and then take a ferry to the island were you'll get a guided tour in Portuguese of the fiscal Island. The fiscal island can be visited from thursday thru sunday. Tours are available at 1 pm. 2:30 pm and 4 pm.

time thursday thru sunday. Tours are available at 1 pm. 2:30 pm and 4 pm.
dollar R$ 10,00

The Fiscal Island

Av. Alfredo Agache, praça XV Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil

Phone: +55(21)2233-9165

Fax: +55(21)2104-6721


Latitude: -22.896981
Longitude: -43.166447
Route options