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Rio de Janeiro






Rio de Janeiro (English pronunciation: /riːoʊ deɪ ʒəˈnɛəroʊ/ or /ˈriːoʊ deɪ dʒəˈnɛəroʊ/; local Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁiu dʒi ʒaˈnɛjɾu], River of January), 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, 6th largest in the Americas, and 26th in the world.

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 from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa or "Marvelous City".

Rio de Janeiro represents the second largest GDP in the country (and 30th largest in the world), estimated at about 343 billion reais (IBGE/2008), and is the headquarters of two major Brazilian companies – Petrobras and Vale, and major oil companies and telephony in Brazil, besides the largest conglomerate of media and communications companies in South America, the Globo Organizations. 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 production – according to 2005 data.

Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in southern hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova, and 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 will take place in Rio de Janeiro, which will mark the first time a South American city hosts the event. Rio's Maracanã Stadium will also host the final match for 2014 FIFA World Cup.


Geography
Rio de Janeiro is on a strip of Brazil's Atlantic coast, close to the Tropic of Capricorn, where the shoreline is oriented east–west. Facing largely south, the city was founded on an inlet of this stretch of the coast, Guanabara Bay (Baía de Guanabara), and its entrance is marked by a point of land called Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) – a "calling card" of the city.

The Centre (Centro), the core of Rio, lies on the plains of the western shore of Guanabara Bay. The greater portion of the city, commonly referred to as the North Zone (Zona Norte), extends to the northwest on plains composed of marine and continental sediments and on hills and several rocky mountains. The South Zone (Zona Sul) of the city, reaching the beaches fringing the open sea, is cut off from the Centre and from the North Zone by coastal mountains. These mountains and hills are offshoots of the Serra do Mar to the northwest, the ancient gneiss-granite mountain chain that forms the southern slopes of the Brazilian Highlands. The large West Zone (Zona Oeste), long cut off by the mountainous terrain, had been made accessible by new roads and tunnels by the end of the 20th century.

The population of the city of Rio de Janeiro, occupying an area of 1,182.3 square kilometres (456.5 sq mi), is about 6,100,000. The population of the greater metropolitan area is estimated at 11–13.5 million. It was Brazil's capital until 1960, when Brasília took its place. Residents of the city are known as Cariocas. The official song of Rio is "Cidade Maravilhosa".

Climate

Rio has a tropical savanna climate that closely borders a tropical monsoon climate according to the Köppen climate classification, and is often characterized by long periods of rain from December to March. In inland areas of the city, temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F) are common during the summer, though rarely for long periods, while maximum temperatures above 28 °C (82 °F) can occur on a monthly basis.

Along the coast, the breeze, blowing alternately onshore and offshore, moderates the temperature. Because of its geographic situation, the city is often reached, especially during autumn and winter, by cold fronts advancing from Antarctica, causing frequent weather changes. It is mostly in summer that strong showers provoke catastrophic floods and landslides. The mountainous areas register greater rainfall since they constitute a barrier to the humid wind that comes from the Atlantic.

The average annual minimum temperature is 21 °C (70 °F), the average annual maximum temperature is 27 °C (81 °F), and the average annual temperature is 24 °C (75 °F). The average yearly precipitation is 1,175 mm. According to INMET, the minimum temperature recorded was 8 °C (46 °F) in July; and the absolute maximum was 44 °C (111 °F) in February. Temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F) are very rare in the city. The temperature varies according to elevation, distance from the coast, and type of vegetation. Winter brings mild temperatures and less rain than in the summer.

History

Europeans first encounter Guanabara Bay on January 1, 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. 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.

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 March 1, 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honor of St. Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the then Portuguese Monarch D. 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.

In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes found gold and diamonds in the neighboring 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, which is much farther to the northeast. And so in 1763, 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. 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. 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.

When Prince Pedro I proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822, he decided to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic. Until the early years of the 20th century, the city was largely limited to the neighborhood now known as the historic Downtown business district (see below), on the mouth of Guanabara Bay. The city's center 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 located between Botafogo and the neighborhood 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. Botafogo's natural beauty, 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 (though, this reputation has been somewhat tarnished in recent years by favela violence resulting from the narcotics trade). Plans for moving the nation's capital city to the territorial centre 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. Though many thought that it was just campaign rhetoric, Kubitschek managed to have Brasília built, at great cost, by 1960. On April 21 that year the capital of Brazil was officially moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília.

Between 1960 and 1975 Rio was a city-state under the name State of Guanabara (after the bay it borders). However, for administrative and political reasons, a presidential decree known as "The Fusion" removed the city's federative status and merged it with the State of Rio de Janeiro, the territory surrounding the city whose capital was Niterói, in 1975. Even today, some Cariocas advocate the return of municipal autonomy.

The city hosted the 2007 Pan American Games and will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. It was announced on October 2, 2009, that Rio would host the 2016 Olympic Games, beating the finalist competitors Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid. The city will become the first South American city to host the event and the second Latin American city (after Mexico City in 1968) to host the Games.

City districts

Centro

Centro is the historic centre of the city, as well as its financial centre. Sites of interest include the Paço Imperial, built during colonial times to serve as a residence for the Portuguese governors of Brazil; many historic churches, such as the Candelária Church, the Old Cathedral, and the modern-style Rio de Janeiro Cathedral. Around the Cinelândia square, there are several landmarks of the Belle Époque of Rio, such as the Municipal Theatre and the National Library building. Among its several museums, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) and the Museu Histórico Nacional (National Historical Museum) are the most important. Other important historical attractions in central Rio include its Passeio Público, an 18th-century public garden, as well as the imposing arches of the Arcos da Lapa, a Roman-style aqueduct built around 1750. A bondinho (tram) leaves from a city centre station, crosses the aqueduct (converted to a tram viaduct in 1896), and rambles through the hilly streets of the Santa Teresa neighbourhood nearby.
View of the neighborhood.

Downtown remains the heart of the city's business community. Some of the largest companies in Brazil have their head offices here, including Petrobras, Eletrobrás, and Vale (formerly Companhia Vale do Rio Doce), three of the largest Brazilian corporations.

In its preparation to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, the port area of the city (a natural extension of the downtown area) is undergoing a tremendous amount of construction and renovation. It is expected to become a major tourist hub within the city by the addition of two Museums ( MAR - Rio's Museum of Art & the Tomorrow's Museum), the largest Aquarium in Latin America, shops, restaurants, residential renovation of century-old houses, as well as new passengers' cruise terminals and piers. The project is named "Porto Maravilha" (Marvelous Port) and is transforming the Port Region from total abandonment to the place to be in the city.

South Zone

The South Zone of Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese: "Zona Sul") is composed of several districts, amongst which are São Conrado, Leblon, Ipanema, Arpoador, Copacabana, and Leme, which compose Rio's famous Atlantic beach coastline. Other districts in the South Zone are Glória, Catete, Flamengo, Botafogo, and Urca, which border Guanabara Bay and Santa Teresa, Cosme Velho, Laranjeiras, Humaitá, Lagoa, Jardim Botânico, and Gávea. It is the richest region of the city and the most famous overseas, and the neighborhood of Leblon in particular has the most expensive real estate in all of South America.
Street in Copacabana

The neighbourhood of Copacabana beach hosts one of the world's most spectacular New Year's Eve parties ("Reveillon"), as more than two million revelers crowd onto the sands to watch the fireworks display. As of 2001, the fireworks have been launched from boats, to improve the safety of the event. To the north of Leme, and at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, is the district of Urca and the Sugarloaf Mountain ('Pão de Açúcar'), whose name describes the famous mountain rising out of the sea. The summit can be reached via a two-stage cable car trip from Praia Vermelha, with the intermediate stop on Morro da Urca. It offers views second only to Corcovado mountain.

Hang gliding is a popular activity on the nearby Pedra Bonita (Beautiful Rock). After a short flight, gliders land on the Praia do Pepino (Cucumber Beach) in São Conrado. Since 1961, the Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional da Tijuca), the largest city-surrounded urban forest and the second largest urban forest in the world, has been a National Park. The largest urban forest in the world is the Floresta da Pedra Branca (White Rock Forest), which is also located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro or PUC-Rio), Brazil's top private university, is located at the edge of the forest, in the Gávea district. The 1984 film Blame it on Rio was filmed nearby, with the rental house used by the story's characters sitting at the edge of the forest on a mountain overlooking the famous beaches.
One of the highest hills in the city is the 842 metres (2,762 ft) high Pedra da Gávea (Crow's nest Rock) near the botanical gardens. On the top of its summit is a huge rock formation (some, such as Erich von Däniken in his 1973 book, "In Search of Ancient Gods", claim it to be a sculpture) resembling a sphinx-like, bearded head that is visible for many kilometers around.

North Zone

The North Zone begins at the city center and sprawls for miles inland.

The North Zone of Rio (in Portuguese: "Zona Norte") is home to the Maracanã stadium, once the world's highest capacity football (soccer) venue, able to hold nearly 199,000 people, as it did the World Cup final of 1950. In modern times its capacity has been reduced to conform with modern safety regulations and the stadium has introduced seating for all fans. Currently undergoing reconstruction, it has now the capacity for 90,000 fans; it will eventually hold around 80,000 people. Maracanã was site for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and football competition of the 2007 Pan-American Games, and will host the final match of 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and football matches of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Besides Maracanã, the North Zone of Rio also holds other tourist and historical attractions, such as 'Manguinhos', the home of Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, a centenarian biomedical research institution with a main building fashioned like a Moorish palace, and the beautiful Quinta da Boa Vista, the park where the historic Imperial Palace is located. Nowadays, the palace hosts the National Museum, specialising in Natural History, Archaeology, and Ethnology.

The International Airport of Rio de Janeiro (Galeão – Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport, named after the famous Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim), the main campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro at the Fundão Island, and the State University of Rio de Janeiro, in Maracanã, are also located in the Northern part of Rio.

This region is also home to most of the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro such as Mangueira, Salgueiro, Império Serrano, Unidos da Tijuca, among others. Some of the main neighbourhoods of Rio's North Zone are Tijuca, which shares the Tijuca Rainforest with the South Zone; Grajaú, Vila Isabel, Méier, São Cristovão, Madureira, and Penha among others.

The North Zone also contains more than 1,000 shantytowns, or favelas, and resembles many cities in developing countries.

West Zone

The West Side (in Portuguese: "Zona Oeste") is the more modern region of Rio de Janeiro. It includes Barra da Tijuca, Jacarepaguá, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Vargem Grande, Vargem Pequena, Realengo, Padre Miguel, Bangu, Campo Grande, Jardim Sulacap, Paciência, and Santa Cruz. There is a clear social contrast between the Lower West Zone and Upper West Zone.

Westwards from the older zones is Barra da Tijuca, a flat expanse of formerly undeveloped coastal land, which is currently experiencing a wave of new construction. It remains an area of accelerated growth, attracting some of the richer sectors of the population as well as luxury companies. High rise flats and sprawling shopping centers give the area a far more American feel than the crowded city centre.

The urban planning of the area, made in the late 1960s, resembles that of United States suburbs, through mixing zones of single-family houses with residential skyscrapers. The beaches of Barra da Tijuca are also popular with the city's residents. Barra da Tijuca is the home of Pan-American Village built for the 2007 Pan American Games.

Beyond the neighbourhoods of Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá, another district that has exhibited economic growth is Campo Grande. New industrial enterprises are being built in Santa Cruz, most notably Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico (CSA), a new steel mill with its own private docks on Sepetiba Bay, planned to be South America's largest steel works.

This is the area of the City that will hold most of the sports venues and competitions during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It will be home to the Olympic Village, Olympic Beach, and Olympic Park as well.

Demographics

According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 11,513,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro. The population density was 6180 people/km² (in the urban area). The last PNAD (National Household Sample Survey) census revealed the following percentage: 6,152,000 White people (53.43%), 4,039,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (35.08%), 1,274,000 Black people (11.6%), 20,000 Asian people (0.18%), 16,000 Amerindian people (0.14%).

Different ethnic groups contributed to the formation of the population of Rio de Janeiro. Before European colonization, there were at least seven different indigenous peoples speaking 20 languages in the region. A part of them joined the Portuguese and the other the French. Those who joined the French were then exterminated by the Portuguese, while the other part was assimilated.

Rio de Janeiro is home to the largest Portuguese population outside of Lisbon in Portugal. After the independence from Portugal, Rio de Janeiro became a destination for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Portugal, mainly in the early 20th century. The immigrants were mostly poor peasants who subsequently found prosperity in Rio as city workers and small traders. The influence of Portugal is still seen in many parts of the city, including architecture and language.

The black community was formed with residents whose ancestors had been brought as slaves, mostly from Angola or Mozambique. The carnival and samba first appeared under the influence of the black community in the city. Today, nearly half of the city's population is black or part black.

As a result of the influx of immigrants to Brazil from the late 19th to the early 20th century, one may find in Rio de Janeiro communities of Jews, Arabs of Lebanese and Syrian origin, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, and people from different parts of Brazil.

Economy

The state of Rio de Janeiro has the second largest (behind only São Paulo) GDP of any city in Brazil. According to the IBGE, was approximately R$ 140 billion in 2007, equivalent to 5.4% of the national total. The services sector comprises the largest portion of GDP (65.52%), followed by collection of taxes (23.38%), by industrial activity (11.06%) and agribusiness (0.04%).

Benefiting from the federal capital position occupied by a long period (1763–1960), the town became a dynamic center administrative, financial, commercial and cultural. The Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, as perceived by the IBGE, has a GDP of US$ 187.374.116.000, constituting the second largest hub of national wealth. Concentrates 68% of the state's economic strength and 7.91% of all goods and services produced in the country.

Taking into consideration the network of influence exerted by the urban metropolis (which covers 11.3% of the population), this share in GDP rises to 14.4%, according to a study released in October 2008 by the IBGE. For many years brings together the second largest industrial hub of Brazil, with oil refineries, shipbuilding industries, steel, metallurgy, petrochemical, gas, chemical, textile, printing, publishing, pharmaceutical, beverages, cement and furniture. However, the last decades indicated a sharp transformation in its economic profile, which is acquiring more and more shades of a major national hub of services and businesses. The Stock Exchange of Rio de Janeiro (BVRJ), which currently trades only government securities, was the first stock exchange founded in Brazil in 1845 and located in the central region.

Rio de Janeiro became an attractive place for companies to locate when it was the capital of Brazil, as important sectors of society and of the government were present in the city. The city was chosen as headquarters for state-owned companies such as Petrobras, Eletrobrás, Caixa Econômica Federal and Vale (which was privatized in the 1990s). After the transfer of the capital to Brasília, in 1960, it kept attracting more companies, especially after the discovery of oil in the Campos Basin, which produces most of the total oil production of Brazil. This made many oil and gas companies to be based in Rio de Janeiro, such as the Brazilian branches of Shell, EBX and Esso. The headquarters of BNDES, an important state institution, is also in Rio de Janeiro. The city is also the headquarters of large telecom companies, such as Intelig, Oi and Embratel. Big multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola, Praxair, Xerox, BHP Billiton, Shell, Chevron, Halliburton, DSNK, Aker, PSA Peugeot Citroen, BG, IBM and El Paso also have offices in the city.

Rio ranks second nationally in industrial production and second financial and service center, trailing only São Paulo. The city's industries produce processed foods, chemicals, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, metal products, ships, textiles, clothing, and furniture. The service sector dominates the economy, however, and includes banking and the second most active stock market in Brazil, the Bolsa da Valores do Brasil. Tourism and entertainment are other key aspects of the city's economic life and the city is the nation's top tourist attraction for both Brazilians and foreigners. Because it was once the national capital, Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the site for the headquarters of many private, national, multinational, and state corporations, even when their factories were located in other cities or states. Despite the transfer of the capital to Brasília, many of these headquarters remained within the Rio metropolitan area, including those of Petrobrás, the state oil company, and the National Economic and Social Development Bank, a federal investment bank.

A newer electronics and computer sector has been added to the older industries of metallurgy, engineering, and printing and publishing. Other manufacturing sectors focus on the production of shipyard-related materials, apparel and footwear, textiles, nonmetallic mineral products, food and beverages, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Construction, also an important activity, provides a significant source of employment for large numbers of unskilled workers and is buoyed by the number of seasonal residents who build second homes in the Greater Rio area. To attract industry, the state government has designated certain areas on the outskirts of the city as industrial districts where infrastructure is provided and land sales are made under special conditions. Oil and natural gas from fields off the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro state are a major asset used for developing manufacturing activities in Rio's metropolitan area, enabling it to compete with other major cities for new investment in industry.

As with manufacturing, Rio is an important financial centre, second only to São Paulo in volume of business in financial markets and in banking. Its securities market, although declining in significance relative to São Paulo, is still of major importance. Owing to the proximity of Rio's port facilities, many of Brazil's export-import companies are headquartered in the city. In Greater Rio, which has one of the highest per capita incomes in Brazil, retail trade is substantial. Many of the most important retail stores are located in the Centre, but others are scattered throughout the commercial areas of the other districts, where shopping centres, supermarkets, and other retail businesses handle a large volume of consumer trade.

Major Brazilian entertainment organizations are based in Rio de Janeiro like TV Globo (Globosat, Globo News, SportTv, Telecine, TV Brazil), NET, Sky and WayBrazil and also some of Brazil's major newspapers: Jornal do Brasil, O Globo, O Dia, and Business Rio. Major international pharmacuetical companies have their Brazilian headquarters in Rio such us Merck, Roche, Arrow, Darrow, Baxter, Mayne, and Mappel.

Rio de Janeiro is the 2nd richest city in Brazil, behind São Paulo and 30th richest city in the world with a GDP of R$ 201,9 billion (2010).

The per capita income for the city was R$ 22,903 (2007).

Infrastructure projects

In 2008 the work of slum upgrading and sanitation began with funding from the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro and three cities in the state. The urban intervention waged by governments with regard to the general budget of $ 3.8 billion (U.S. $ 3.23 billion from the Federal Government, of which R $ 2.15 billion from the Federal Budget and $ 1.08 billion of financing, consideration of $ 404.9 million from the State Government and $ 238.3 million in the 15 municipalities covered), and aims to mitigate the problems of social and economic order that afflict the poorest regions for decades, integrating them into the metropolis, with the implementation of sewage disposal system, kindergartens, community centers, urban facilities, improvements in housing and road systems of favelas. Among the sanitation sanctions, there will be a cleaning of Guanabara and Sepetiba bays, the revitalization of the Paraiba do Sul River, the water supply system improvement in the Baixada Fluminense and São Gonçalo and the drainage of some rivers.

For Rio de Janeiro are on track urbanization works in Alemão complex of favelas, Manguinhos, Rocinha, Cantagalo, Pavãozinho - slums that lack infrastructure and are often sites of armed clashes between police and drug lords. In Alemão Complex, there will be built a cableway, mirroring the experience of Colombian Medellin. The device shall link the favelas and the train station of Bonsucesso neighborhood. There will be also new roads and housing units. In the case of Manguinhos, the creation of a "Metropolitan Park" by the elevation of the railway is expected, with the construction of an intermodal terminal and the installation of several kiosks in public services, the construction of a high school and a sports area. In Rocinha, a walkway designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer will be built on the Lagoa-Barra highway. The structure resembles the bow of the Apoteose Square and will join a sports center and new housing projects at the bottom of the favela. Until January 2009, only 30% of construction with completion scheduled for March in Manguinhos and Alemão - which included the delivery of housing units, sports facilities, urban facilities and paving - had been completed after delays resulting from the drug wars and setbacks caused by the lack of professional qualification, several works were opened in their communities in May 2009. In the past, the city has been the focus of proposed intervention rather successful, as the "Favela-Bairro," which, despite the more restricted budget allocation did not reach part of their targets - there are controversies about the effectiveness obtained with the program, the first large-scale urbanization already deployed. Also are benefiting from PAC municipalities of Belford Roxo, Duque de Caxias, Itaboraí, Magé, Mesquita, Nilópolis, Niterói, Nova Iguaçu, Queimados, São Gonçalo, São Joao de Meriti, Nova Friburgo, Barra Mansa and Volta Redonda.

Education

The Portuguese language is the official and national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. English and Spanish are also part of the official high school curriculum. There are also international schools, such as the American School of Rio de Janeiro, Our Lady of Mercy School, the Corcovado German School, the Lycée Français and the British School of Rio de Janeiro.

Educational institutions

The city has several universities. The Ministry of Education has certified approximately 99 upper-learning institutions in Rio. Some notable higher education institutions are:

  •     Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ);
  •     Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ);
  •     Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ);
  •     Fluminense Federal University (UFF);
  •     Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio);
  •     Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV);
  •     Military Institute of Engineering (IME);
  •     West Zone State University (UEZO);
  •     Candido Mendes University (UCAM);
  •     Superior Institute of Technology in Computer Science of Rio de Janeiro (IST-Rio);
  •     Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State (UNIRIO);
  •     Estácio de Sá University (UNESA);
  •     National Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA);
  •     Gama Filho University (UGF).

Educational system


Primary schools are largely under municipal administration, while the state plays a more significant role in the extensive network of secondary schools. There is also a small number of schools under federal administration, as is the case of Colégio Pedro II and Colégio de Aplicação da UFRJ. In addition, Rio has an ample offering of private schools that provide education at all levels. Rio is home to many colleges and universities.

The Rio de Janeiro State University (public), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (public) and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (private) are among the country's top institutions of higher education. The literacy rate for Cariocas aged 10 and older is nearly 95 percent, well above the national average. In Rio, there were 1,033 primary schools with 25,594 teachers and 667,788 students in 1995. There are 370 secondary schools with 9,699 teachers and 227,892 students. There are 53 University-preparatory schools schools with 14,864 teachers and 154,447 students. The city has six major universities and 47 private schools of higher learning.

Culture and contemporary life

Rio de Janeiro is a main cultural hub in Brazil. Its architecture embraces churches and buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, blending with the world renowned designs of the 20th century. Rio was home to the Portuguese Imperial family and capital of the country for many years, and was influenced by Portuguese, English, and French architecture.

Rio de Janeiro inherited from the past a strong cultural role. In the late 19th century, there were sessions held the first Brazilian film and since then, Spread out several cycles of production, which eventually enter the cinema at the forefront Rio experimental and leadership national cinema. Currently, Rio brings together the main production centers of Brazilian television.

In Rio there are important cultural landmarks, like the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library in Portuguese), the seventh largest library in the world, its collections include over 9 million items; the Theatro do Rio, Built on principles of 20th century; the National Museum of Fine Arts; the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden; the Imperial Square; the Brazilian Academy of Letters; the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (pt); and the Natural History Museum.

For local English language news, The Rio Times is an online weekly publication covering; politics, business, sports, entertainment, real estate, and travel, as well as offering classifieds and a daily nightlife guide. In Portuguese, there are many option starting with the daily O Globo, Extra, and O Dia newspapers, and of course local television news and radio (all in Portuguese.)

Tourism and recreation

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's primary tourist attraction and resort. 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. While the city has in past had a thriving tourism sector, the industry entered a decline in the last quarter of the 20th century. Annual international airport arrivals dropped from 621,000 to 378,000 and average hotel occupancy dropped to 50% between 1985 and 1993. Services for tourists were lacking at the time, and visitors frequently found themselves subjected to a hostile environment: Few workers in the commercial sector could speak any language but Portuguese, beach and city pollution was deterring holidayers, and crime against tourists was increasing. The fact that Brasilia replaced Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian capital and São Paulo as the country's commercial center has also been cited as a leading cause of the decline. Rio de Janeiro's government has since undertaken to modernise the city's economy, reduce its chronic social inequalities, and improve its commercial standing as part of an initiative for the regeneration of the tourism industry.

Literature

After Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822, Rio de Janeiro quickly developed a European-style bourgeois cultural life, including numerous newspapers, in which most 19th-century novels were initially published in serial. Joaquim Manuel de Macedo's A Moreninha (1884) was perhaps the first successful novel in Brazil and inaugurates a recurrent 19th-century theme: a romantic relationship between idealistic young people in spite of cruelties of social fortune. The first notable work of realism focusing on the urban lower-middle class is Manuel Antônio de Almeida's Memórias de um sargento de milícias (1854), which presents a series of picaresque but touching scenes, and evokes the transformation of a town into a city with suggestive nostalgia. Romantic and realist modes both flourished through the late 19th century and often overlapped within works. The most famous author of Rio de Janeiro, however, was Machado de Assis, that is also widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature and considered the introducer of Realism in Brazil, with the publication of The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1881); he had commented and criticized the political and social events of the city and country such as the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the transition from Empire to Republic with his numerous chronicles published in newspapers of the time. Much of his short stories and novels, like Quincas Borba (1891) and Dom Casmurro (1899), are placed in Rio.

Libraries


The National Library of Brazil ranks as the eighth largest library in the world. It is also the largest library in all of Latin America. Located in Cinelândia, the National Library was originally created by the King of Portugal, in 1810. As with many of Rio de Janeiro's cultural monuments, the library was originally off-limits to the general public. The most valuable collections in the library include: 4,300 items donated by Barbosa Machado including a precious collection of rare brochures detailing the History of Portugal and Brazil; 2,365 items from the 17th and 18th century that were previously owned by Antônio de Araújo de Azevedo, the "Count of Barca," including the 125 volume set of prints "Le Grand Théâtre de l'Univers;" a collection of documents regarding the Jesuítica Province of Paraguay and the "Region of Prata;" and the Teresa Cristina Maria Collection, donated by Dom Pedro II. The collection contains 48,236 items. Individual items of special interest include a rare first edition of Os Lusíadas by Luis de Camões, published in 1584; two copies of the Mogúncia Bible; and a first edition of Handel's Messiah.

The Portuguese Royal jolie papillon located at Rua Luís de Camões, in downtown Rio. The institution was founded in 1837 by a group of forty-three Portuguese immigrants, political refugees, to promote culture among the Portuguese community in the then capital of Império. A history of the Brazilian Academy of Letters is linked to the Royal Cabinet, since the five solemn.

Music

The official song of Rio de Janeiro is "Cidade Maravilhosa", which means "marvelous city". The song is considered the "civic anthem" of Rio, and is always the favourite song during Rio's Carnival in February. Rio de Janeiro is a centre of the urban music movement in Brazil.

Rio was popularised by the hit song "Garota de Ipanema" (The Girl from Ipanema), composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes and recorded by Astrud Gilberto & João Gilberto, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. It is also the main key song of the bossa nova, a musical genre that was born in Rio. A genre unique to Rio and Brazil as a whole is Funk Carioca. While samba music continues to act as the national unifying agent in Rio, Funk Carioca found a strong community following in Brazil. With its genesis in the 1970s as the modern black pop music from the United States, it evolved in the 1990s to describe a variety of electronic music associated with the current US black music scene, including hip hop, modern soul, and house music."

Brazil's return to democracy in 1985 after over 20 years of military authoritarian rule, and the subsequent end of rampant censorship, allowed for a new freedom of expression which promoted creativity and experimentation in expressive culture. Commercial and cultural imports from Europe and North America have often influenced Brazil's own cultural output. For example, the hip hop that has stemmed from New York is localized into various forms of musical production such as Funk Carioca and Brazilian hip hop. Democratic renewal also allowed for the recognition and acceptance of this diversification of Brazilian culture.

Cazuza who was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro is considered one of the greatest poets of the Brazilian Rock,along with Renato Russo and Raul Seixas.

Theatre


Rio Janeiro 's Theatro Municipal is one of the most resplendent buildings in the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro. Home of one of the largest stages in Latin America and one of Brazil's most well known venues for opera, ballet, and classical music.The building was inspired by the Paris Opera of Garnier, and built in 1905 by the architect Francisco Pereira Passos. The statues on the top, of two women representing Poetry and Music, are by Rodolfo Bernadelli, and the interior is rich with furnishings and fine paintings. Founded in 1909, the Teatro Municipal was designed after the famed opera house in Paris with close to 1,700 seats. It's interior includes turn-of-the-century stained glass from France, ceilings of rose-colored marble and a 1,000 pound crystal bead chandelier surrounded by a painting of the "Dance of the Hours". The exterior walls of the building are dotted with inscriptions bearing the names of famous Brazilians as well as many other internationally celebrities .

Sports

On October 2, 2009, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. This is the first time that the city advanced to the Candidature phase of the bidding process, after failed attempts in 1936, 2004, and 2012. Rio would become the first Brazilian and South American city to host the games. In July 2007, Rio successfully organized and hosted the XV Pan American Games.

On October 30, 2007, Brazil was chosen as the official host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rio de Janeiro is one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the final is most likely to be held at Maracanã Stadium.

Football is the most popular Sport in Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro is home to 5 traditional Brazilian football clubs: América Football Club, Botafogo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama, and Flamengo, the latter according to a national survey and to FIFA numbers, is the team with the largest number of supporters in the world.

Other notable sports events in Rio include the MotoGP Brazilian Grand Prix and the world Beach Volleyball finals. The raceway in Jacarepaguá was the site for the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix from 1978 to 1990 and the Champ Car event from 1996 to 1999. WCT/WQS Surfing championships were contested on the beaches from 1985–2001. The Rio Champions Cup Tennis tournament is held in the spring. As part of its preparations to host the 2007 Pan American Games, Rio built a new stadium, Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, to hold 45,000 people. It was named after Brazilian ex-FIFA president João Havelange. The stadium is owned by the City of Rio de Janeiro, but it is rented to Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas for 20 years. Rio de Janeiro has also a multi-purpose arena, the HSBC Arena.

The Brazilian Dance/Sport/Martial art Capoeira is very popular. Other popular Sports are Beach Football, Beach Volleyball, Beach American Football, Footvolley Surfing, Kite Surfing, Hang gliding, Motor racing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sailing, and competitive Rowing. Another Sport that is highly popular in beaches of Rio is called "Frescobol" (pronounced [fɾeskoˈbɔw]), a type of beach Tennis. Rio de Janeiro is also paradise for Rock climbers, with hundreds of routes all over the town, ranging from easy boulders to highly technical big wall climbs, all inside the city. The most famous, Rio's granite mountain, the Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar), is an example, with routes from the easy 3rd grade (American 5.4, French 3) to the extremely difficult 9th grade (5.13/8b), up to 280 metres.

Horse racing events are held Thursday nights and weekend afternoons at the Jockey Club. An impressive place with excellent grass and dirt tracks, it runs the best horses in the nation for your pleasure. Hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro started in mid-1970s and quickly proved to be perfectly suited for this town, because of its geography: steep mountains encounter the Atlantic Ocean, which provide excellent take-off locations and great landing zones on the beach.

One of the most popular sea sports in the city is yachting. The main yacht clubs are in Botafogo area that extends halfway between Copacabana and the center of town. Though the most exclusive and interesting is probably the Rio Yacht club, where high society makes it a point to congregate. Most yacht clubs are open to members only and gate crashing is not easy. Copacabana is also a great place to do Surfing as well as "Arpoador of Ipanema" beach and "Praia dos Bandeirantes". The sea at these beaches is rough and dangerous, the best surfers from Brazil and other sites of the world come to these beaches to prove themselves.

New year

Every December 31, 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach to celebrate New Year's in Rio de Janeiro. The crowd, mostly dressed in white, celebrates all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach. It is the second largest celebration only next to the Carnival. People celebrate the New Year by sharing chilled Champagne. It is considered good luck to shake the Champagne bottle and spray around at midnight. Chilled Champagne adds to the spirit of the festivities.

Carnival

Carnival, or Carnaval, from Latin "Carnevale", 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 Carnival 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 descents. 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 Carnival 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. The most famous ones are:
  • Cordão do Bola Preta: Parades in the centre of the city. It is one of the most traditional carnavals. In 2008, 500,000 people attended in one day.
  • Suvaco do Cristo: Band that parades in the Botanic Garden, directly below the Redeemer statue's arm. The name translates to 'Christ's armpit' in English, and was chosen for that reason.
  • Carmelitas: Band that was supposedly created by nuns, but in fact is just a theme chosen by the band. It parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, which have very nice views.
  • Simpatia é Quase Amor: One of the most popular parades in Ipanema. Translates as 'Friendliness is almost love'.
  • Banda de Ipanema: The most traditional in Ipanema. It attracts a wide range of revellers, including families and a wide spectrum of the gay population (notably spectacular drag queens).
In 1840, the first Carnaval was celebrated with a masked ball. As years passed, adorned floats and costumed revelers became a tradition amongst the celebrants. Carnaval is known as a historic root of Brazilian music.

Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival


Largest film festival in Brazil and Latin America, it happens every year, always for two weeks,coming in 1999.

Book Biennial


Event that gathers thousands of literary titles, one of Brazil's major cultural samples.Is always held in Riocentro, the largest convention center in Latin America.

Fashion Rio

One of the most important fashion events in Brazil. The participants tend to wear argyle.

Anima Mundi


A competitive Brazilian video and film festival devoted exclusively to animation, held every July.

Car Free

An international movement that advocates the revitalization of cities, seeking to ensure a sustainable future. Car Free Movement and its supporters argue that the choice of cities in favor of the automobile was mistaken for it is a highly polluting form of transport and destroyer of urban space. Alternatively, they propose the conversion of cities to promote sustainable means of mobility, choosing the bike and the means of public transport as an expression of sustainability. In cities with a traffic calmer, people tend to walk more, to reclaim the public spaces and reaching a new concept of quality of life.




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