Petrópolis, also known as The Imperial City of Brazil, is a municipality in the state of Rio de Janeiro, at a distance of 68 km from the state capital.Nestled among the forested hills of the Serra dos Órgãos, in the valley of the Quitandinha and Piabanha rivers, Petrópolis is a popular winter holiday spot. Besides the climate and surroundings, the main attraction is the former Summer Palace of the second Brazilian emperor, which is now the Imperial Museum, specializing in Imperial history and memorabilia.Petrópolis is home to the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing, a research unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Brazilian Federal Government.HistoryThe town's name honors Emperor Pedro II, the nation's second monarch and son of Pedro I. The city was the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century, and was the official capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1902.The town's origins can be traced to Bernardo Soares de Proença, who between 1722 and 1725 opened an alternative route between Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, across the Serra da Estrela. While traveling to Minas Gerais along this route, Emperor Pedro I found the region's climate pleasant, while staying at the farm of Correia, a Catholic priest. As the priest's sister and heiress refused to sell his property, the Emperor bought in 1830 the neighboring one, the Córrego Seco Farm. He had his Summer Palace built there, but never saw it finished, because he stepped down from the throne, on April 7, 1831. Other Brazilian aristocrats eventually followed suit. Pedro's Palace is nowadays the Imperial Museum, one of the main attractions of the "alpine city" of Petrópolis, together with the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcântara, the Crystal Palace and the House of Santos-Dumont. The "Imperial City" became in due time home to artists, intellectuals and celebrities, and by the twentieth century, one of the main tourist attractions in the country.