Our Journey today is to a Brazilian city with a world-famous statue. the statue of Christ the Redeemer is considered one of the most famous monuments in the world. But it’s just one reason that makes Rio de Janeiro one of the most visited cities in South America. Keep reading to learn more!
Pin On The Map
In order to go to Rio de Janeiro, you need to go to the south east of Brazil. Rio is the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The city touches the Atlantic Ocean.
Around 6.7 million people call Rio home. It’s the second-most populous city in Brazil after São Paulo.
Look in the history book
A name by mistake!
Indigenous groups started living in Rio thousands of years ago. The Tupi, Puri, and Botocudo were among these groups. In January 1502, this changed. People from Portugal arrived in Rio. They reached Guanabara Bay and thought it was a river. That’s why they called the area “rio de janeiro” which means “January River”.
The French and The Portuguese fight over the land
The city was officially founded in 1565 by the Portuguese. However, the French wanted to control it. For two years, there were battles between the two sides. Finally, the Portuguese won in 1567. Mem de Sá was a Portuguese governor. He played a great role in Portugal’s victory. Sá decided to move the city to safer position to protect it from future battles.
Ups and downs
At the beginning of the 18th century, the city became a vital spot for the Portuguese due to mining. People dug the ground and got gold and diamonds. The city got bigger and more Europeans started to move to Rio.
At that time, The Carioca Aqueduct was built to bring water from the Carioca River to the residents of Rio. The remains of this project still stand in the city.
At the end of the 18th century, there was a decline of mines. Besides, neighboring cities and countries increased their production. This caused problems for people living in Rio.
However, coffee saved the city. People started to plant this famous seed and export it to other countries.
The 19th century witnessed many changes in Rio. In 1838, the first public transportation service began. And in 1854, the first railroad was built in the city. And the telephone service began in 1877.
For years, Rio has been the capital of Brazil. In 1763, the Portuguese made Rio the capital city of their colony. And even after Brazil got its freedom in 1822, Rio stayed its capital till 1960. In that year, the national capital was moved to Brasilia.
Till now, Rio is considered one of the most important manufacturing centers in Brazil.
In 2016, Rio became the first South American city to hold the Summer Olympics. Brazil is in the southern hemisphere. In that part of the world, winter starts in June and ends in August. Rio 2016 was held from 5 to 21 August. As a result, Rio also became the first city to host the “summer” Olympics during the local “winter” season.
Tour in the city
Christ the Redeemer
Obvious, isn’t it? You can’t go to Rio without visiting its symbol. Christ the Redeemer is one of the new seven wonders of the world. The huge statue is 30 meters (98 ft) high. It stands on the top of Corcovado Mountain in The Tijuca Forest national park.
The art work was constructed between 1922 and 1931. Tourists can visit it by train, van or hiking trail.
It’s considered by many tourists to be the most famous beach in the world. Copacabana beach touches the Atlantic Ocean in the south zone of Rio. There are two forts at both ends of the beach, Fort Copacabana at the south end and Fort Duque de Caxias at the north end.
Millions of tourists visit the beach to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Plus, the coastal shore usually hosts The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Just a 5 -minute- walk from the beach, you can find Copacabana palace. The famous hotel is around 100 years old and it’s considered one of the most iconic hotels in Rio.
Sugar loaf mountain
This breathtaking mountain lies at the mouth of Guanabara Bay. It’s 396 m (1,299 ft) above the harbor. In the past, people used to produce sugar in the form of a loaf. The mountain took its name from this traditional shape. People enjoy incomparable view to the city from its spectacular cableway.
Set the calendar
If you decided to pack your bag and go to Rio, you definitely shouldn’t miss Rio Carnival. The famous festival is held annually in February or March. It usually occurs on the Friday before Lent.
* Lent is a six-week period in which Christians decide to give up something.
The carnival starts on Friday and ends on Ash Wednesday. It’s filled with floats, dances and shows.
The first Rio carnival dates back to 1723.
Take a bite
If you take a stroll down the streets of Rio, you will be chased by a distinctive mouthwatering smell coming from almost every restaurant; it’s the aroma of pastéis. This delicious meal is crispy pastries filled with different ingredients such as olives, meat, eggs and even chocolate!
Fun fact about the city
Biggest match… biggest shock
In July 1950, Rio witnessed the biggest football match in history. Around 200.000 people attended the World Cup Final at Maracanã stadium. The match was between Brazil and Uruguay. Brazil lost the match and thousands fans were shocked.