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Rio de Janeiro Brasile
The most mesmerizing city
The most mesmerizing city of South America. Rio de Janeiro (meaning River of January in Portuguese) is without doubt the most mesmerizing city of South America. It was a backwater town until the early 1800s when the Portuguese royal family set up court in Rio after being driven from Europe by Napoleon.
Portuguese settlers founded Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, and the city became wealthy exporting diamonds, gold and sugar.
It was the capital, and home of Brazil's monarchs, until Brasil was built in the 1960's.
The exact place of Rio's foundation is at the feet of now world famous Sugar Loaf mountain.
It's also famous for two beaches Copacabana and Ipanema – located in tourist - friendly South Zone, which is commonly divided into the historic downtown, for “Cristo Rendentor” giant Jesus statue (standing 120 feet tall, skyline since it was completed in 1931) which is on the Corcovado mountain, Sugar Loaf mountain.
The historic downtown of Rio de Janeiro is Centro. It remains the hesart of the city's business community.
There's a trolley car named “Bondinho” which leaves from a Centro station and rambles through the hilly streets of theb Santa Teresa neighbourhood nearby crossing a former Roman-style aqueduct-the “Acros da Carioca” built in 1750 and converted to a tram viaduct in 1896.
Every year tourists from around the world flock to the city for Carnaval the pre-Lenten ritual of parades and partying that goes on around the clock for a week. There's always something happening at the beach.
The beaches are known for the scantily clothed beach goers, and swimming is not always the main attraction. The beaches are an extended party venue for New Year's Eve celebrations, and for the annual Festa de Iemanjà which celebrates the Goddess of the Sea and Mother of the Waters on New Year's Eve in Rio de Janeiro and on August 15 in Salvador.
The city clearly ranks alongside the world's most modern metropolises, its a city with 13 million inhabitants which still live in areas of poorer quality housing.
It's a city of contrasts - international and domestic destination for the world tarvelers.