Heart of Brazil’s first emperor crosses the Atlantic to mark 200 years of independence

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From Porto to Brazil, back to Porto, and then back to Brazil once again: the heart of Brazil’s first emperor will travel across the Atlantic for a temporary exhibit in its adoptive home.

Long after his death, the heart of the 19th-century monarch Dom Pedro IV has remained on display at the Church of Lapa in Porto city — kept intact in a glass vessel filled with formaldehyde.

“I think it`s fantastic. It`s fabulous after two centuries to have the heart of a person who loved Porto so much. It`s fabulous,” said one woman who visited the heart at its current display in Portugal.

But now, for a short period of time, the royal organ will travel back to Brazil.

On 22 August, the heart will be transported to the Palácio Planalto in Brasília, where it will receive military honours.

it will then be put on display at the Palacio Itamaraty to mark the bicentenary of Brazil’s independence 200 years ago before it will head back to Porto on 8 September.

Known to some Brazilians as the soldier king, Dom Pedro IV arrived in Brazil after fleeing Portugal during the French invasion.

He then declared Brazil’s independence in 1822. Dom Pedro IV — also known as Dom Pedro I of Brazil —  ruled the country for nine more years before abdicating in 1831.