Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Município do Rio de Janeiro
Municipality of Rio de Janeiro
Rio Collage.png
From the top, clockwise: panorama of the buildings of the Rio Downtown; statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado; Sugarloaf Mountain with Botafogo's beach; Barra da Tijuca beach with the Pedra da Gávea at background; Museum of Tomorrow in Plaza Mauá with Rio–Niterói Bridge at background and tram of Santa Teresa.
Coat of arms of Rio de Janeiro
Coat of arms
Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) Princesa Maravilhosa (Marvelous Princess) Cidade dos Brasileiros (City of Brazilians)
Location in the state of Rio de Janeiro
Location in the state of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is located in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Location in Brazil, east South America
Coordinates: 22°54′30″S 43°11′47″W / 22°54′30″S 43°11′47″W / -22.90833; -43.19639(2015)[2]
 • Municipality6,688,930
 • Rank2nd
 • Urban
 • Metro
12,280,702 (2nd)
 • Metro density2,705.1/km2 (7,006/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Carioca and Guanabarino(a) (by former city-state, obsolete)
Time zoneUTC−3 (BRT)
Postal Code
Designated2012 (36th 1100
State PartyBrazil
Latin America and Europe

Rio de Janeiro (ə -/; Portuguese: [ˈʁi.u d(ʒi) ʒɐˈne(j)ɾu];[3] River of January), or simply Rio,[4] is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.[5]

Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, and future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves. Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began. This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country officially shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, and then the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília.

Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country,[6] and 30th largest in the world in 2008,[7] estimated at about R$343 billion (IBGE, 2008) (nearly US$201 billion). It is headquarters to Brazilian oil, mining, and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations – Petrobras and Vale – and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo. The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data.[8] Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, which is considered the safest in the country.[9]

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, Carnival, samba, bossa nova, and balneario beaches[10] such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable car; the Sambódromo (Sambadrome), a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums. Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to ever host the events, and the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city.[11] The Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the XV Pan American Games.


Historical affiliations
Portugal Portuguese Empire 1565–1815
Flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.svg United Kingdom of PBA 1815–1822
 Empire of Brazil 1822–1889
Brazil Republic of Brazil 1889–present
Founding of Rio de Janeiro on March 1, 1565
Rio de Janeiro, then de facto capital of the Portuguese Empire, as seen from the terrace of the Convento de Santo Antônio (Convent of St. Anthony), c. 1816
Map of the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1820, then capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, with the transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil.

Colonial period

Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502 (hence Rio de Janeiro, "January River"), by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho.[12] Allegedly the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition. The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo and Maxakalí peoples.[13]

In 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Consequently, Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony.

The city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several mostly French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin.[14]

In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes discovered gold and diamonds in the neighbouring captaincy of Minas Gerais, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth (gold, precious stones, besides the sugar) than Salvador, Bahia, much farther northeast. On 27 January 1763,[15] the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro.

Portuguese court and imperial capital

The kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, which, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived suddenly, many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes.[16] In the first decades, several educational establishments were created, such as the Military Academy, the Royal School of Sciences, Arts and Crafts and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the National Library of Brazil – with the largest collection in Latin America[17] – and The Botanical Garden. The first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, came into circulation during this period.[18] When Brazil was elevated to Kingdom in 1815, it became the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves until the return of the Portuguese Royal Family to Lisbon in 1821, but remained as capital of the Kingdom of Brazil.[19]

From the colonial period until the first independent decades, Rio de Janeiro was a city of slaves. There was a large influx of African slaves to Rio de Janeiro: in 1819, there were 145,000 slaves in the captaincy. In 1840, the number of slaves reached 220,000 people.[20] The Port of Rio de Janeiro was the largest port of slaves in America.

When Prince Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822, he decided to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire while the province was enriched with sugar cane agriculture in the Campos region and, especially, with the new coffee cultivation in the Paraíba Valley.[19] In order to separate the province from the capital of the Empire, the city was converted, in the year of 1834, in Neutral Municipality, passing the province of Rio de Janeiro to have Niterói as capital.[19]

Botafogo Bay in 1869
Botafogo Bay in 1889

As a political center of the country, Rio concentrated the political-partisan life of the Empire. It was the main stage of the abolitionist and republican movements in the last half of the 19th century.[19] At that time the number of African slaves was drastically reduced and the city was developed, with modern drains, animal trams, train stations crossing the city, gas and electric lighting, telephone and telegraph wiring, water and river plumbing.[19] Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic.

On 6 February 1889 the Bangu Textile Factory was founded, with the name of Industrial Progress Company of Brazil (Companhia Progresso Industrial do Brasil). The factory was officially opened on 8 March 1893, in a complex with varying architectural styles like Italianate, Neo-Gothic and a tower in Mansard Roof style. After the opening in 1893, workers from Great Britain arrived in Bangu to work in the textile factory. The old farms became worker villages with red bricks houses, and a neo-gothic church was created, which still exists as the Saint Sebastian and Saint Cecilia Parish Church. Street cinemas and cultural buildings also appeared. In May 1894, Thomas Donohoe, a British worker from Busby, Scotland, arrived in Bangu.[21]

Donohoe was horrified to discover that there was no knowledge of football among Brazilians. So he wrote to his wife, Elizabeth, asking her to bring a football when she joined him. And shortly after her arrival, in September 1894, the first football match in Brazil took place in the field beside the textile factory. It was a five-a-side match between British workers, and took place six months before the first game organized by Charles Miller in São Paulo. However, the Bangu Football Club was not formally created until 1904.[22]

Republican period

Rio de Janeiro, ca.1910s
The Sugarloaf cable car between the 1940s and 1950s
A convoy of tanks along the streets of the city in 1968 during the military rule. At time, Rio de Janeiro was a city-state, capital of Guanabara

At the time Brazil's Old Republic was established, the city lacked urban planning and sanitation, which helped spread several diseases, such as yellow fever, dysentery, variola, tuberculosis and even black death. Pereira Passos, who was named mayor in 1902, imposed reforms to modernize the city, demolishing the cortiços where most of the poor population lived. These people, mostly descendants of slaves, then moved to live in the city's hills, creating the first favelas.[23] Inspired by the city of Paris, Passos built the Municipal Theatre, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Library in the city's center; brought electric power to Rio and created larger avenues to adapt the city to automobiles.[24] Passos also named Dr. Oswaldo Cruz as Director General of Public Health. Cruz's plans to clean the city of diseases included compulsory vaccination of the entire population and forced entry into houses to kill mosquitos and rats. The people of city rebelled against Cruz's policy, in what would be known as the Vaccine Revolt.[25]

In 1910, Rio saw the Revolt of the Lash, where Afro-Brazilian crew members in the Brazilian Navy mutinied against the heavy use of corporal punishment, which was similar to the punishment slaves received. The mutineers took control of the battleship Minas Geraes and threatened to fire on the city. Another military revolt occurred in 1922, the 18 of the Copacabana Fort revolt, a march against the Old Republic's coronelism and café com leite politics. This revolt marked the beginning of Tenentism, a movement that resulted in the Brazilian Revolution of 1930 that started the Vargas Era.

Until the early years of the 20th century, the city was largely limited to the neighbourhood now known as the historic city centre (see below), on the mouth of Guanabara Bay. The city's centre of gravity began to shift south and west to the so-called Zona Sul (South Zone) in the early part of the 20th century, when the first tunnel was built under the mountains between Botafogo and the neighbourhood that is now known as Copacabana. Expansion of the city to the north and south was facilitated by the consolidation and electrification of Rio's streetcar transit system after 1905.[26] Botafogo's natural environment, combined with the fame of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, the luxury hotel of the Americas in the 1930s, helped Rio to gain the reputation it still holds today as a beach party town (although this reputation has been somewhat tarnished in recent years by favela violence resulting from the narcotics trade[27]).

Plans for moving the nation's capital city from Rio de Janeiro to the centre of Brazil had been occasionally discussed, and when Juscelino Kubitschek was elected president in 1955, it was partially on the strength of promises to build a new capital.[28] Though many thought that it was just campaign rhetoric, Kubitschek managed to have Brasília and a new Federal District built, at great cost, by 1960. On 21 April of that year the capital of Brazil was officially moved to Brasília. The territory of the former Federal District became its own state, Guanabara, after the bay that borders it to the east, encompassing just the city of Rio de Janeiro. After the 1964 coup d'état that installed a military dictatorship, the city-state was the only state left in Brazil to oppose the military. Then, in 1975, a presidential decree known as "The Fusion" removed the city's federative status and merged it with the State of Rio de Janeiro, with the city of Rio de Janeiro replacing Niterói as the state's capital, and establishing the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region.[29]

In 1992, Rio hosted the Earth Summit, a United Nations conference to fight environmental degradation. Twenty years later, in 2012, the city hosted another conference on sustainable development, named United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The city hosted the World Youth Day in 2013, the second World Youth Day in South America and first in Brazil. In the sports field, Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final. On 2 October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced that Rio de Janeiro would host the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2016 Paralympic Games, beating competitors Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid. The city became the first South American city to host the event and the second Latin American city (after Mexico City in 1968) to host the Games.

Rio de Janeiro at night in 2013.
Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Рио-де-Жанейро
адыгабзэ: Рио-де-Жанейро
Afrikaans: Rio de Janeiro
Alemannisch: Rio de Janeiro
Ænglisc: Rio de Janeiro
العربية: ريو دي جانيرو
aragonés: Rio de Janeiro
armãneashti: Rio de Janeiro
asturianu: Rio de Janeiro
Avañe'ẽ: Rio de Janeiro
Aymar aru: Rio de Janeiro
azərbaycanca: Rio-de-Janeyro
bamanankan: Rio de Janeiro
Bân-lâm-gú: Rio de Janeiro
башҡортса: Рио-де-Жанейро
беларуская: Рыа-дэ-Жанэйра
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Рыю-дэ-Жанэйру
Bikol Central: Rio de Janeiro
български: Рио де Жанейро
Boarisch: Rio de Janeiro
bosanski: Rio de Janeiro
brezhoneg: Rio de Janeiro
čeština: Rio de Janeiro
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Río de Janeiro
Chi-Chewa: Rio de Janeiro
chiShona: Rio de Janeiro
chiTumbuka: Rio de Janeiro
dolnoserbski: Rio de Janeiro
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Rio de Janeiro
español: Río de Janeiro
Esperanto: Rio-de-Ĵanejro
estremeñu: Rio de Janeiro
Fiji Hindi: Rio de Janeiro
føroyskt: Rio de Janeiro
français: Rio de Janeiro
Fulfulde: Rio de Janeiro
Gàidhlig: Rio de Janeiro
ГӀалгӀай: Рио-де-Жанейро
Gĩkũyũ: Rio de Janeiro
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Rio de Janeiro
Hawaiʻi: Riū-Ianuali
hornjoserbsce: Rio de Janeiro
hrvatski: Rio de Janeiro
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: রিও ডি জেনিরো
Bahasa Indonesia: Rio de Janeiro
Interlingue: Rio de Janeiro
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᕆᐆ ᑌ ᔭᓀᕉ
Iñupiak: Rio de Janeiro
isiXhosa: Rio de Janeiro
íslenska: Rio de Janeiro
italiano: Rio de Janeiro
kalaallisut: Rio de Janeiro
Kapampangan: Rio De Janeiro
kernowek: Rio de Janeiro
Kinyarwanda: Rio de Janeiro
Kiswahili: Rio de Janeiro
Kreyòl ayisyen: Rio de Janeiro
Кыргызча: Рио-де-Жанейро
кырык мары: Рио-де-Жанейро
latgaļu: Rio de Janeiro
latviešu: Riodežaneiro
Lëtzebuergesch: Rio de Janeiro
lietuvių: Rio de Žaneiras
Limburgs: Rio de Janeiro
lumbaart: Rio de Janeiro
македонски: Рио де Жанеиро
მარგალური: რიო-დე-ჟანეირო
مازِرونی: ریو دو ژانیرو
Bahasa Melayu: Rio de Janeiro
Minangkabau: Rio de Janeiro
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Rio de Janeiro
Mirandés: Riu de Janeiro
Dorerin Naoero: Rio de Janeiro (tekawa)
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Rio de Janeiro
Nedersaksies: Rio de Janeiro
Nēhiyawēwin / ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ: ᐃᐆ ᑌ ᒐᓀᐅ
Napulitano: Rio de Janeiro
Nordfriisk: Rio de Janeiro
Norfuk / Pitkern: Rio de Janeiro
norsk nynorsk: Rio de Janeiro
олык марий: Рио-де-Жанейро
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Rio-de-Janeyro
Pälzisch: Rio de Janeiro
Pangasinan: Rio de Janeiro
Papiamentu: Rio de Janeiro
Piemontèis: Rio de Janeiro
Tok Pisin: Rio de Janeiro
português: Rio de Janeiro
Qaraqalpaqsha: Rio-de-janeiro
qırımtatarca: Rio de Janeyro
reo tahiti: Rio de Janeiro
Ripoarisch: Rio de Janeiro
română: Rio de Janeiro
romani čhib: Rio de Janeiro
rumantsch: Rio de Janeiro
Runa Simi: Rio de Janeiro
русиньскый: Ріо де Жанейро
саха тыла: Рио де Жанейро
Gagana Samoa: Rio de Janeiro
Seeltersk: Rio de Janeiro
Sesotho sa Leboa: Rio de Janeiro
Setswana: Rio de Janeiro
sicilianu: Riu de Janeiru
Simple English: Rio de Janeiro
slovenčina: Rio de Janeiro
slovenščina: Rio de Janeiro
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Риоу ди Жанєироу
ślůnski: Rio de Janeiro
Soomaaliga: Rio de Janeiro
Sranantongo: Rio de Janeiro
српски / srpski: Рио де Жанеиро
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rio de Janeiro
Basa Sunda: Rio de Janeiro
Taqbaylit: Rio de Janeiro
tarandíne: Rio de Janeiro
татарча/tatarça: Рио-де-Жанейро
lea faka-Tonga: Rio de Janeiro
Tsetsêhestâhese: Rio de Janeiro
Tshivenda: Rio de Janeiro
Türkçe: Rio de Janeiro
Türkmençe: Rio-de-Žaneýro
ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ: Rio de Janeiro
українська: Ріо-де-Жанейро
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Rio dé Janéyro
Vahcuengh: Rio de Janeiro
vepsän kel’: Rio-de-Žaneiro
Tiếng Việt: Rio de Janeiro
Volapük: Rio de Janeiro
West-Vlams: Rio de Janeiro
Xitsonga: Rio de Janeiro
Yorùbá: Rio de Janeiro
žemaitėška: Rio dė Žaneiros