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Irish newspaper coverage of Brazil and its people began in the 19th century with articles on topics such as emigration to Brazil; slavery; the establishment of telegraphic communications between Brazil and Europe; the Great Drought in Brazil; and the expulsion of the Emperor Dom Pedro II and his family from Brazil.

Twelve years earlier the Emperor and his wife visited Europe together with a small entourage. As part of that journey they made a whirlwind five-day private visit to Ireland from 7 to 11 July 1877 visiting Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, Dublin, Killarney and Cork. The visit went practically unreported in Brazil, but received widespread local press coverage in, e.g., the Belfast News Letter and The Irish Times.

The main reason for the Emperor’s visit was to inspect the then largest telescope in the world under construction in Dublin for export to Austria.

He arrived in Belfast by ship where he was received by the Brazilian Vice-Consul. From there he visited a tourist attraction, the Giant’s Causeway. That night he was in Dublin touring the Guinness Brewery! He stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel.

The places he visited reflected his intellectual curiosity about diverse subject, for example: the Botanical Gardens (botany); the tomb of Irish nationalist leader Daniel O’Connell in Glasnevin Cemetery (history); Trinity College (chemistry); the National Gallery (art and sculpture); the Royal College of Surgeons (medicine); and the Royal Irish Academy (ancient Irish manuscripts) where the Empress showed interest in books by Irish writer and poet Thomas Moore. From Dublin, his party took a train to the scenic Lakes of Killarney, followed by a quick visit to Cork, its university, and Butter Market – the world’s largest at the time.

He was reputed to be collecting stores of information to be applied on his return for the benefit of his subjects.