Rio de Janeiro – The Marvelous City
Rio de Janeiro (“River of January” in English), also known as the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) is the capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil’s second largest city.
[image border=”yes” alt=”” src=”http://www.bdci.tv/images/copacabana-beach.jpg” align=”left” height=”150″ width=”200″ style=”float:left; margin-right:10px;”]Locals, known as cariocas, have truly defined paradise here, with dancehalls, outdoor cafes and bars mixed in with a diverse landscape, ranging from mountains and world-famous beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana to the rich green rainforests of the Amazon.
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A must-see attraction is the impressive and immense “Cristo Redentor” (Christ the Redeemer), featured in many films.
Back in the early 1800s Dom João VI, king of Portugal named Rio the capital of both the Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil. By the late 1800s the population had grown due to immigration from Europe as well as internal migration. Rio’s population was over 1 million people by 1890.
From the 1920s to the 1950s Rio experienced its “golden age,” becoming an exotic destination for silver screen stars and international “high society” of the time.
Rio remained the political capital of the country until 1960, when the government relocated to Brasilia. It was during the ’60s that the infamous favelas or shantytowns grew to great numbers, becoming the poorest areas of the Northeast and interior, increasing the level of Rio’s urban poor.
Despite recent outbreaks of drug trafficking and crime, Rio retains most of its luster and has been working hard to clean up its act before hosting the 2013 World Youth Day, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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Other popular events include the ever-engaging Carnaval, The Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and Fashion Rio.
Rio is also twinned with Oklahoma City, Newark and Atlanta here in the U.S.