* Irene's Country Corner * - Brasil - Rio de Janeiro



Rio de Janeiro


© Irene. Not available for download.


Rio de Janeiro city is located in the Rio de Janeiro state, south-east of Brazil. It's bounded on the east by the Guanabara Bay, on the west and north by forested mountains and on the south by a long beach area. Its population is estimated in 5.750.000 inhabitants and it occupies an area of 1.171 km².

© Irene. Not available for download.

Rio is the owner of a magnificent beauty, offering its visitors and inhabitants a unique landscape. Nature perfectly matches the sea side with the mountains creating a remarkable view. That is one of the reasons why Rio de Janeiro is called by Brazilian citizens the "Wonderful city" ("Cidade Maravilhosa" in Portuguese).

The most famous landscapes and tourist attractions of Rio the Janeiro are the Copacabana Beach, the Sugar Loaf, the Corcovado and the Botanical Garden. But Rio also offers its visitors a large variety of other attractions, night life, entertainment, cultural events etc. Many of Rio's best hotels, restaurants, shops and nightlife are concentrated in the south part of the city, called Zona Sul (South Zone).



© Irene. Not available for download.  Picture scanned from a Encyclopedia.

On January 1, 1502, the Guanabara Bay (main entrance of Rio de Janeiro by the sea) was found. As the Portuguese mistook it for the mouth of a large river, they named it Rio de Janeiro (January River if translated literally - "rio" is the Portuguese word for river and "janeiro", the word for January).

When people realized that the bay was not a river, it was renamed Guanabara Bay. On the left there is a map that shows the Guanabara Bay, under the name of Rio de Janeiro.

The city was founded on March 1, 1565 by Estácio de Sá, Mem de Sá's nephew who was Brazil's third governor general (1558-1572) and the one responsible for expelling the French invaders from Rio in 1567.

The city was founded near the Sugar Loaf mountain, located in the present Guanabara Bay, which was previously named Rio de Janeiro for they thought the bay was a river.

January, 20 is the date that Catholics celebrate Saint Sebastian day (São Sebastião) and it was also on January, 20 that Mem de Sá and his nephew Estácio de Sá expelled the French invaders from the city. Saint Sebastian became the patron saint of the city, which was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro (Saint Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro); Saint Sebastian, because this catholic saint was chosen to be the patron saint of the city, and Rio de Janeiro because when the city was founded, they still thought the Guanabara Bay was a river - it had been named Rio de Janeiro (January River) when it was discovered on January, 1, 1505.

© Irene. Not available for download.

Today, January, 20 (Saint Sebastian day) is a holiday in Rio de Janeiro city.

After the French were expelled from Rio, Mem de Sá decided to remove the city from the Sugar Loaf to another site in order to better protect it from foreign invaders.

The city was the second capital of Brazil (Salvador was the first) until 1960, when Brasília was founded and Rio ceased to be the capital of the country. The territory occupied by Rio de Janeiro city was then converted into the Guanabara state. In 1975, both Guanabara and Rio de Janeiro states were fused and Rio de Janeiro city became the capital of the reorganized Rio de Janeiro state.

Rio remained the largest city of Brazil and also the country's most important financial and commercial center for a long period, loosing this position to São Paulo. The city's economic and social prominence grew in the 18th century after it became the main trade center for the gold and diamond-mining areas of Minas Gerais. Later, its status as a national capital and as the royal residence of the Portuguese monarch Dom João VI influenced Rio's continued growth.



Climate is generally tropical, hot, and humid, but because of its geographic situation, the city is reached often, especially during autumn and winter, by cold fronts advancing from the Antarctic, which cause frequent weather changes. But it is mostly during Summer (December 21 to March 21) that strong showers occur.

The mountainous areas register greater rainfall since they constitute a barrier to the humid wind that comes from the Atlantic. The temperature varies according to altitude, distance from the coast, and type of vegetation. Winter (from June 21 to September 23) is very pleasant. It presents mild temperatures and is, in general, less rainy than Summer (December 21 to March 21). The annual average temperature in Rio is about 23º C (73.4 Fahrenheit) and during Summer it can reach 40ºC (104 Fahrenheit) or more depending on the location.




 Rio de Janeiro lies on a strip of Brazil's Atlantic coast, close to the Tropic of Capricorn. It is located in the Rio de Janeiro state, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and south and also by three other states: Minas Gerais to the north and north-west, Espírito Santo to the north-east and São Paulo to the south-west.

The state occupies an area of 43.909 km² and its population is estimated in more than 13.200.000 inhabitants. Rio de Janeiro city is its capital, and also the most important city of the state.


Below is a map of the city and its most important districts, called "bairros" in Portuguese.




Photo Album

Click on the different zones below to know a little bit of each district.
Each page contains description and some pictures.







© Irene. Not available for download.

| Back to the Brazilian Menu |

This page was created on: January 24, 2002.
Last updated on: January 26, 2005.

[ Site Menu ] [ Home ]

~ Graphics by Graphics by Irene ~
Backgrounds by: www.graphicsbygrace.com
www.themotherbear.com ~ Rajiv's Graphics ~




© Irene. Not available for download.

 Nothing in this site is Public Domain. Graphics are copyrighted by various artists and are used with permission.
Please, click on the links above to visit the websites were you can download the graphics from. Do NOT save anything from my pages, please.