Mundo a Vapor – Canela, Brazil - Atlas Obscura

Mundo a Vapor

Canela, Brazil

This attraction is devoted to the wonders of steam power and features a replica of one of its most public disasters. 


Despite the life-size locomotive engine hanging out the front of the building, Brazil’s Mundo a Vapor (Steam World) is committed to showing off the wonders of steam power rather than its disasters. 

More than a simple museum, this interactive collection of contraptions was started by a family of steam engineers who learned their craft by recreating the steam machines that powered the local sawmills. After their shifts at the local mill the teenage brothers who would go on to found Mundo a Vapor used spare scrap material to create miniature versions of steam rotors and engines like the ones they spent their days servicing. This fascination with steam power soon spread to locomotives, manufacturing, and other applications of pressurized thrust.

Mundo a Vapor now displays a number of their homemade miniatures as well as working models of steam engines used for both transportation and industrial purposes. One of the main attractions of the site is the paper-making exhibit where visitors can walk away with a freshly pressed piece of paper that was created right in front of them using steam power.

The facade of the building is near impossible to miss as it features a full-size replica of the Montparnasse steam train crash that famously broke through a station wall and hung off the outside. The train breaking out of the front of Mundo a Vapor communicates both the power and history of the steam power it so loves.

Know Before You Go

Easily visible (there's a train wreck in front on the road between Gramado and Canela.

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