Whether you are arriving or leaving Rio de Janeiro by plane or ship, you are likely to catch a glimpse of the fairytale appearing Fiscal Island. The palace was built in 1889 with a Gothic-Provence design. Toward the end of that year, this was the scene of an extravagant ball hosted by the Empire of Brazil for up to 5,000 elite guests. In less than a week, the monarchy of Pedro II of Brazil fell in a military coup. This event created the foundation for the First Brazilian Republic. Today, Ilha Fiscal is a small museum operated by the Navy of Brazil. In the background is the Santos Dumont Airport, Rio’s second largest.