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  • Monuments of Rio de Janeiro

    Vista aérea del Cristo Redentor del Corcovado la ciudad de Rio de Janeiro

    By definition, the word monument refers to any construction, usually large, that has great artistic or historical value, so following that definition we can say that there are many and very famous monuments in Rio de Janeiro.



    Colonial buildings and monuments

    From the establishment of the first Portuguese in Rio, and thanks to its strategic geographical location, the city was becoming increasingly important until it became, first in the capital of the colony and then even, in the capital of the Portuguese kingdom.

    With the declaration of independence, Rio was constituted as capital of the empire of Brazil and finally capital of the Republic, until in 1960 it was replaced by the newly inaugurated city of Brasilia.

    Its quality of capital for such a long period and at such different historical moments, caused the main dependencies of the government and culture agencies of the country to be lifted in Rio, leaving an indelible mark on its current physiognomy.

    Most of the most important monuments in Rio de Janeiro began to be built during the 19th century, coinciding with the arrival of the Portuguese crown to the city, which brought with it a great urban and cultural development. However, religious monuments such as the Santo Antonio Convent, the Outeiro da Gloria church or the Monastery of São Bento date from the time of the arrival of the first Portuguese and with them the first religious orders.


    However, although of later dates, the church of most importance was for years the Nossa Senhora do Carmo church that functioned as the royal chapel and cathedral of the city, until the construction of the modern Metropolitan Cathedral during the second half of the twentieth century.

    Among the main monuments of Rio de Janeiro, there are also impressive non-religious buildings such as the Imperial Palace, which was the seat of both the colonial and imperial government and that only lost that function with the arrival of the Republic that established the center of power in the majestic Catete Palace.

    Icons of a modern city

    The first decades of the twentieth century were of splendor and growth for Brazil and, those that have become the most famous monuments of Rio de Janeiro were built during those years.

    The greatest examples of this period are the Municipal Theater, one of the most imposing and beautiful buildings in the city, the Tiradentes Palace, which hosted the National Congress for more than thirty years and, without a doubt the Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado, the most characteristic image of Rio de Janeiro. Also at that time, specifically between 1912 and 1913, the cable cars that climb to the top of the Sugar Loaf were inaugurated, making this spectacular rock a world-famous tourist attraction.

    But in addition to the historical buildings, there are several places that have earned the right to enter the category of monuments of Rio, for what they mean for the city and because they are part of the Carioca identity.

    These places include the Colombo Confectionery, which is a living example of the city’s greatest years of splendor, the Maracana Stadium because Rio de Janeiro cannot be understood without understanding its love for football and the Selarón Staircase, a work of art modern and different that embodies the spirit of a people.


    Main monuments of Rio de Janeiro

    Christ the redeemer Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Christ the Redeemer

    The Christ the Redeemer, stands majestically on an 8-meter high pedestal on the top of Corcovado Hill, 710 meters above sea level, within the Tijuca National Park. It is possible to see it almost from anywhere in the city. Read more »

    The Sugar Loaf Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Sugarloaf Mountain

    In the district of Urca, just at the entrance of the Bay of Guanabara, is one of the emblematic symbols of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the famous Morro (hill) of the Sugar Loaf or Pão de Açúcar as it is called in Portuguese. Read more »

    Municipal theater Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Municipal Theater

    In the heart of the city, in front of Praça Floriano, commonly known as Cinelandia, stands one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings in Rio de Janeiro, the Municipal Theater, the largest theater in the country. Read more »

    Imperial Palace Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Imperial Palace

    Located in the heart of the historical center of the city, today known as the Imperial Palace of Rio de Janeiro, it has had several names throughout its history and has hosted important events that marked the country’s destiny. Read more »

    Lapa arches Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Lapa arches

    The most characteristic image of the Lapa neighborhood is undoubtedly the sight of those known as Arcos de Lapa, a monumental aqueduct built in the mid-18th century to transport water from the Carioca River to the city center. Read more »

    Metropolitan Cathedral Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Metropolitan Cathedral

    Officially called São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral is a monumental construction that surprises on the outside, for its peculiar conical shape, and on the inside for the light effects of its stained glass. Read more »

    Maracana Stadium Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Maracana Stadium

    Known not only in Brazil but internationally as the Temple of Soccer, the Maracanã is the largest stadium in the country and for years it held the title of being the largest in the world.For its turf the most prominent football stars have paraded. Read more »

    Selarón Staircase Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Selarón Staircase

    Located between the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa, surrounded by traditional bars and restaurants, the colorful Staircase of Selarón, has become a symbol of the creativity and bohemia of a vibrant neighborhood. Read more »

    Colombo Confectionery Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Colombo Confectionery

    One of the greatest expressions of the Belle Époque carioca is undoubtedly the dazzling Confitería Colombo, the most prominent cafeteria-restaurant in the city center, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Read more »


    Other monuments of interest

    Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet

    One of the most beautiful architectural jewels of Rio de Janeiro is unquestionably the Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet, built in what has come to be called the Neomanuelino style. Read more »

    Tiradentes Palace Bento Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Tiradentes Palace

    One of the most beautiful buildings in the city of Rio de Janeiro is the Tiradentes Palace. The majestic French neoclassical style building with its six huge columns gives an imposing appearance to its central facade. Read more »

    Catete Palace Bento Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Catete Palace

    One of the historically most important monuments of the city of Rio de Janeiro and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful, is the Catete Palace that was the Headquarters of the Government of the Republic from 1897 to 1960. Read more »

    Monastery of São Bento Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Monastery of São Bento

    The Monastery of São Bento is one of the main colonial monuments that still exist in Rio de Janeiro and because of its location, on top of a hill, it was a prominent landmark of the city. The history of the Monastery begins in 1590. Read more »

    Santo Antonio convent Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Santo Antonio convent

    The Convent of Santo Antonio and the Sao Francisco da Penitencia Church, constitute one of the oldest Catholic complexes built in Rio de Janeiro, and make up one of the best examples of colonial architecture. Read more »

    Candelaria Church Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Candelaria Church

    One of the richest and most beautiful churches in all of Brazil is, without a doubt, the Nossa Senhora da Candelaria Church or simply the Candelaria Church, located in the Plaza Pío X, in the heart of the historical and financial center of Rio de Janeiro. Read more »

    Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church

    Also known as Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé Church (Our Lady of Carmen Church), it is one of the first and most important churches in Rio de Janeiro since it was the Cathedral of the city until 1976. Read more »

    Outeiro da Gloria Church Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Outeiro da Gloria Church

    Indistinctly known as the Church of Our Lady of Glory of Outeiro or Outeiro da Gloria Church, the name of this church refers to its location, on top of the Gloria hill, in the neighborhood of the same name. Read more »

    Fiscal Island Palace Monuments Rio de Janeiro

    Fiscal Island Palace

    Beautifully restored and with a renewed illumination, the palace of the Fiscal Island, seems taken from a story. It was designed by the engineer Adolfo José del Veccio following the Provencal Gothic style of the 14th century French constructions. Read more »

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