Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea
Rio de Janeiro, commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th largest in the Americas, and 26th in the world.
Rio de Janeiro has become a home of a World Heritage Site named “Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea”, as granted by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 in the category Cultural Landscape.
The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1815 during the Portuguese colonial era, 1815 to 1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, and 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa or “Marvelous City”.
Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, balneario beaches such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.
Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer (“Cristo Redentor”) atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums.
The 2016 Summer Olympics and the Paralympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, which will mark the first time a South American or a Portuguese-speaking nation hosts the event. It will be the third time the Olympics will be held in a Southern Hemisphere city, and it will mean Australia will no longer be the only Southern Hemisphere country to have hosted the Olympics.
Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s primary tourist attraction. It receives the most visitors per year of any city in South America with 2.82 million international tourists a year.The city sports world-class hotels, approximately 80 kilometres of beachland, and the famous Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains.
Rio de Janeiro is the most awarded destination by World Travel Awards in the South American category as the best destination.Carnaval, is an annual celebration in the Roman Catholic tradition that allows merry-making and red meat consumption before the more sober 40 days of Lent penance which culminates with Holy or Passion Week and Easter.
The tradition of Carnaval parades was probably influenced by the French or German courts and the custom was brought by the Portuguese or Brazilian Imperial families who had Bourbon and Austrian ancestors. Up until the time of the marchinhas, the revelry was more of a high class and Caucasian-led event.
The influence of the African-Brazilian drums and music was more noticeable from the first half of the 20th century.Rio de Janeiro has many Carnaval choices, including the famous samba school (Escolas de Samba) parades in the sambadrome exhibition center and the popular blocos de carnaval, street revelry, which parade in almost every corner of the city.
Like Carnival, New Year’s Eve (or New Year) millions of people gather to celebrate in the streets of Rio.
Hyacinth macaws Blu and Jade, along with the other characters in Rio 2, will be featured in the New Year’s Eve 2014 festivities in Copacabana. This is the first time the famous celebration, which is expected to attract 2.3 million people, will be themed after a movie.
Rio 2 will be released on April 11, 2014 in the US and on March 20 internationally. Rio (2011), the 9th greatest all-time box office in Brazil, showcased attractions such as the Corcovado and the Sugarloaf with its cable car. As Rio gets ready to host 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and the 2016 Olympics, New Year’s Eve in Copacabana will value the city even more, said Tourism Secretary Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello in a press release.