Rio de Janeiro
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.
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"
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 20 (Saint Sebastian day) is a holiday in Rio de Janeiro
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
is a map of the city and its most important districts, called
"bairros" in Portuguese.
on the different zones below to know a little bit of each district.
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.
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.
Each page contains description and some pictures.