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Seats of the Senate

Conde dos Arcos Palace

Mansion built in 1819 in a farm which served as residence to the Count of Arcos, 15th and

last Brazilian Vice King. The farm occupied the area from Areal to the end of Campo de Sant’Anna, entering Rua das Flores. In 1824, the building was purchased by the Emperor D. Pedro I for the installation of the Senate. In August of 1831, the mansion was renovated and later, in 1919, the building received another renovation and a new facade. The Senate functioned in that building until December 31, 1924, when it was transferred to the Monroe Palace. The old Conde dos Arcos Palace is now occupied by the Law School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Monroe Palace

The second seat of the Senate was the Monroe Palace, where the Senate operated from

May 3, 1925.  The building was planned and executed by the engineer Francisco de Souza Aguiar in 1904, to attend to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It received the gold medal in the exposition where 50 plans from other countries competed.

The building was inaugurated on July 23, 1906, at the opening of the 3rd Pan-American Conference. The Conference was opened with a speech by the Baron of Rio Branco, who named the Monroe building in honor of US President James Monroe.

In the last parliamentary session at the Monroe Palace, held on the eve of the transfer of the capital to Brasília in 1960, the senators were moved by the farewell to Rio de Janeiro, but also by the farewell to the building.

Subsequently, the Palace was demolished. On October 11, 1975, President Ernest Geisel authorized the Ownership of the Union to arrange for its demolition. For further information about the history of the demolition, see the book in the Federal Senate Library:  AGUIAR, Louis de Souza. Palácio Monroe: da Glória ao Opróbrio. Rio de Janeiro, Arte Moderna. 1976. 222 p. : il.

Palace of the National Congress

With the transfer of the capital city to Brasília, the Palace of the National Congress was

designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer. The building, listed by UNESCO as World's Historical and Cultural Heritage, brings together the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, in the centre of Três Poderes Square. The symbolism of Niemeyer’s plan placed the Congress as the tallest building at the Três Poderes Square, signifying the preponderance of the people’s power, through their representation. The building includes two towers of twenty eight floors with a link in the middle, featuring an "H". On one side of the towers, there is a larger convex and open dome, the Chamber of Deputies, suggesting the direct impact of ideologies; and on the other side, a smaller concave dome, the Federal Senate, indicating a suitable place for reflections, weightings and balance, where maturity and experience are valued. The two domes symbolize the power and the bicameral system.