The National Historical Museum of Brazil, was created in 1922, and possesses over 287,000 items, among of which the largest numismatic collection of Latin America. The architectonic complex that houses the museum was built in 1603 as the St James of Mercy Fort; the first structures date back from 1567, though, erected by order of King Sebastian I of Portugal.
In 1693, the Calaboose Prison, for slaves, was built. In 1762, the Casa do Trem was added as a depot of weapons and ammunition. The last additions are the War Arsenal (1764) and the Barracks (1835).Created in August 1922, by decree of President Epitacio Pessoa the National Historical Museum starts its activities in October, integrating the Centennial Exhibition, in two special rooms of the Casa do Trem .