Fort Copacabana is a military base at the south end of the beach that defines the district of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. The base is open to the public and contains the Museu Histórico do Exército, the fort is built on a headland that originally contained a small chapel holding a replica of the Virgen de Copacabana, the patron saint of Bolivia. In 1908 the Brazilian army started to build a coastal defense fort on the headland to protect both the beach of Copacabana and the entrance to the harbour of Rio de Janeiro. The fort, completed in 1914, consists of two armoured cupolas, one holding a pair of 305 mm Krupp cannons, and the other a pair of 190 mm Krupp cannons. The name of the turret with the 305mm guns is Duque de Caxias, and this cupola is behind and above that of the 190 mm guns so that it can fire over them. The 305 mm Krupp guns could fire a shell of some 445 kg a distance of up to 23 km, the name of the cupola with the 190 mm guns is André Vidal. These guns could fire from 200 m to 18.2 km, the fort also has two small retractable casements on the flanks, each of which held a 75 mm quick-firing gun with a 180° traverse and a range of 7 km. Unlike the large Krupp guns, these 75 mm guns are no longer in place, the north casement is named Antônio João and the south casement is named Ricardo Franco. On 5 July 1922, the fort was the point of the 18 of the Copacabana Fort revolt. It was the first revolt of the movement, in the context of the Brazilian Old Republic. The rebellious officers turned the guns on Rio de Janeiro. To suppress the revolt, the government brought the battleships São Paulo, on 6 July São Paulo bombarded the fort, firing five salvos and obtaining at least two hits, the fort surrendered half an hour later. Brazil disbanded its coastal artillery branch in 1987. At that time the military deactivated the fort, at least as far as the its role as an artillery post was concerned. The hours for the Museum are 10 am to 6 pm, admission for adults is R$4 per adult, there are discounts and free tours for the elderly and children. At the entrance to the base there is a guard in the uniform that was current when the fort was opened in 1914, the museum has several exhibits focusing on different periods and events in the history of the army in Brazil. The Brazilian Expeditionary Forces participation in the Italian campaign in World War II gets only limited treatment, outside the museum there are several artillery pieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance, one piece is a 5-barrel quick-firing gun
An aerial photo of the fort
Turret with two 190 mm guns at Fort Copacabana
Guard at entrance to Fort Copacabana
Vickers-Armstrong Mark XIX 6″ gun on display at Fort Copacabana.