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Brazil Rio de Janeiro - guide

Traditional tourist points

Corcovado: Surely Mount Corcovado is Rio’s main attraction. With 710 m (2,329 ft) above see level, this mountain supports the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the best known monuments all over the world. The 38 meter (125 ft) high statue weighs 1,145 tons (1,262 net tons), and was inaugurated in 1931. To reach the main terrace, you have to climb 222 steep stairs, or use an escalator or panoramic elevator. To ascend Mount Corcovado, a train on one of the oldest Brazilian railways, inaugurated by Emperor Peter II in 1884, may be used. Departure at Rua Cosme Velho 513, Cosme Velho - tel. 2558-1329 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.).

Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf): The Sugar Loaf is another worldwide known post card motive. You can reach its peak (396 m – 1,

300 ft) using a glazed cable car, which reaches it in two steps. The fist one ascends Urca Hill (220 m – 656 ft), and the second one ascends to the top of the Sugar Loaf. The whole track of 1,330 m (4,360 ft) demands 6 minutes. From its peak, you can enjoy the best view of the Guanabara Bay, the center of the city, and also de city of Niterói. Av. Pasteur 520, Urca - tel. 2541-3737 (8h-22h) --- At the top of Urca Hill, you can get a panoramic flight by helicopter. More information through telephone 2542-7895.

Copacabana Beach: Known as the Little Sea Princess, Copacabana is a summary of the city of Rio de Janeiro. During summertime, and mainly at weekends, the number of visitors increases substantially. A visit to the Copacabana Fort at Posto 6 pays its way – some historical events of Brazil took place there, and it hosts the Historic Museum of the Army.

Maracanã: The Mário Filho Stadium, better known as Maracanã, was build for World Cup 1950, and is the worldwide largest soccer temple. Brazil lost that cup, but gained a worthy stage for any game or show. It also hosts the Museum of Sports, with treasures like the shirt #10 of the Brazilian picked team, which belonged to Pelé. You should look for the game program in order to watch a soccer game. A number of providers supply admission-tickets and shuttle services to the stadium, as well as game escorting. You may get information at your hotel reception desk. Rua Professor Henrique Rabelo, portão 18, Maracanã

A summary of the main museums

The National Fine Arts Museum (MNBA): MNBA hosts Rio’s most important exhibitions, and is located in a building the Fine Arts Academy has been using since 1908. Its collection comprising 14 thousand items has been exhibited rotationally, showing works of all Brazilian painting phases. There are pictures of Cândido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila do Amaral, Lasar Segall, and others. Among foreign artists, there are works of Debret, Boudin, Picasso, and Rodin. Av. Rio Branco 199, Downtown.

The National Historic Museum: Its 300 thousand pieces are very interesting, and tell the history of Brazil from its discovery on through the proclamation of the Republic. A special feature is the colelction of ivory models that belonged to the imperial family. Praça Marechal Âncora, Downtown.

Historic Museum of the Republic: The Catete Palace hosted the office of the President of the Republic from 1897 to 1960, when it became a museum. Its collection tells the history of the Republic, especially highlighting former President Getúlio Vargas, who committed suicide there. Rua do Catete 153, Catete.

Chácara do Céu (Heavenly Farmstead) Museum: Located at Santa Tereza neighborhood, it possesses a collection of about 8 thousand items, including pictures, etchings, drawings, and sculptures, especially with works of Matisse, Modigliani, Monet, Dali, Picasso, Di Cavalcanti, and Portinari. Rua Murtinho Nobre 93, Santa Teresa.

Modern Art Museum (MAM): Opened in 1958, its architectural design stems from Affonso Eduardo Reidy, and the landscape design from Burle Marx. MAM offers outstanding art exhibitions, showing especially works of Brazilian artists. Av. Infante D. Henrique 85, Parque do Flamengo, Downtown.

Quinta da Boa Vista: The Imperial Palace of Quinta da Boa Vista was the residence chosen by the Emperors of Brazil. Today it is a national museum, and includes a zoo. It has a steady collection of 10,000 items, distributed through 3,800 m². It includes the fossile of a giant sloth, Egyptian pieces, Oriental tableware, and objects of the Emperors of Brazil. At Quinta da Boa Vista.

Contemporary Art Museum: Its main feature is the building itself, a project of Oscar Niemeyer. Together with a collection of 600 works of concretist artists, it also offers a peerless view to Rio de Janeiro. Boa Viagem Gazebo, Boa Viagem, Niterói.

Historic Museum of the Army: The beautiful fort is located at Copacabana Beach (close to Ipanema). The museum shows artillery and infantry pieces of various ages. There is also a photographic and bibliographic collection. A special feature is the stunning view on Copacabana.


Interesting tourist points

Teatro Municipal (Opera Theater): Following the concept of the opera-house of Paris, the Opera Theater was inaugurated in 1909, and has been presenting the country’s major shows. The architecture of the theater, with its marble arcades and colored windows imported from Europe is quite impressive. Another special feature is its drop curtain painted by the Italian artist Eliseu Visconti, which depict famous people like Rembrandt, Wagner, and Carlos Gomes. Look for its program schedule, and enjoy the show. Praça Floriano, Downtown.

Confeitaria Colombo (Colombo Confectionery): Opened in 1894, Colombo Confectionery was a meeting point of Rio’s high society on early 20th century. Its old timed decoration and its tea service are still a great attraction. Rua Gonçalves Dias 32/36, Downtown. Confeitaria Colombo has a branch at Copacabana Fort, which does not display the traditional decoration, but offers an excellent tea and delicatessen service.

Mosteiro de São Bento (Monastery of St. Benedict); The São Bento Monastery was built by the Benedictine monks (1617-1669), and is a mark of Brazilian baroque. Its interior decoration is rich and magnificent. A special feature is the grid made of rosewood by Frei Domingos da Conceição between 1698 and 1706, as well as the panels of the main chapel, painted between 1663 and 1700. At Sundays, a famous Gregorian chant accompanied mess performed by the Benedictine monks takes place. To attend it, arriving 30 minutes in advance is recommended. Rua D. Gerardo 68, Downtown.

Other tourist points: N.S. da Candelária Church, Glória Church, Contemporary Art Museum, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Imperial Palace.

Beaches of Rio de Janeiro that should be visited

Additionally to Copacabana Beach, we recommend a visit to the traditional Ipanema Beach, and the exquisite Barra da Tijuca Beach. In Ipanema, the best part is that between the rescue stations 10 and 9. Station 9 has been the meeting point of an alternative and hippie audience. The several miles long Barra Beach offers a number of very nice places. The point en vogue is that close to Barraca do Pepe, a meeting point of sports liking and beautiful people.