With a destroyer, a submarine, and some great ship models, the Navy Cultural Center is guaranteed to delight naval and maritime buffs. The display space is located on the old Customs dock on the waterfront. That means it's narrow and thin, the exhibits extending ever backward to the end of the pier. On display are countless ship models, including a full-size replica of the royal barge and countless small-scale models of everything from the Golden Hind to primitive Brazilian sailing rafts. More interesting for nonmodel freaks are the displays on underwater archaeology, including a wide variety of relics -- coins, Delft blue china, jewelry -- from the 1648 wreck of the Nossa Senhora do Rosario. Moored outside the museum are the Riachuelo, a 1970s-era submarine, and the Bauru, a small World War II destroyer. Self-guided tours of these ships (also free) run from noon until 5pm. This is also the place from which one departs for tours of Ilha Fiscal.
- © Frommer's 2013
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