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Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Rafael Defavari

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

4 months ago
Written by Ronald Toppe
Ports > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

4 months agoPorts
Written by Ronald Toppe
Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Rafael Defavari

Statsraad Lehmkuhl visits Rio February 23-26 2022

Rio de Janeiro is probably Brazil's most famous city, but it is neither the capital nor the country's largest city. São Paulo with 11 million inhabitants is almost twice as big.

Rio seen from Guanabara Bay. Photo: Anatoly Terentiev
Rio seen from Guanabara Bay. Photo: Anatoly Terentiev

Rio is located in Guanabara Bay, with Parrot's Peak on the north side of the estuary, and Mount Sugar Loaf on the south side. There are over 130 islands in the bay, and in 1555 French colonists settled on one of them, 53 years after a Portuguese expedition sailed into the bay as the first Europeans.

Rio was established by the Portuguese in 1565, as a base for the expulsion of the French, which they succeeded to do two years later.

Shipping port

For the next 240 years, Rio was a shipping port for goods the Europeans carried home after the invasion of South America. But then, in 1808, the Portuguese royal family and nobility fled to the city, after Napoleon invaded Portugal. Rio took over as the capital of Portugal, and King João VI did not return to Lisbon until 1821.

A mix of old and modern. Photo: Elvis Boaventura
A mix of old and modern. Photo: Elvis Boaventura

Brazil became independent in 1825, with Rio as its capital until 1960, when Brasília, built from scratch up in the highlands took over.

Oil capital

Today, Rio is one of South America's most important administrative, financial, commercial and cultural centers. Brazil has oil fields off the east coast, and several oil companies are based in the city.

Copacabana beach on the Atlantic coast. Photo: Adam Jones
Copacabana beach on the Atlantic coast. Photo: Adam Jones

Rio is located at the same latitude as the African savannas of Botswana, and has the same tropical climate. Between December and March it can rain heavily, and temperatures up to 40 degrees are not uncommon between September and January.

Normal maximum temperature in February: 30,2 ℃
Normal precipitation in February: 130 mm

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