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Rio de Janeiro

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This page is about the city of Rio de Janeiro. For information about the Brazilian state, see Rio de Janeiro (state).

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil. Until April 21, 1960 it was the capital city of Brazil. Today, it is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro. According to the 2000 Census, the city had 5,473,909 people, and an area of over 1,000 km2.

The city of Rio de Janeiro, viewed from Corcovado mountain.

Rio de Janeiro is the most famous Brazilian city in the world. It is famous for its beaches, such as Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar) and the statue of Christ the Redeemer (in Portuguese, Cristo Redentor). It also has an important harbor on Guanabara Bay, and the second most important airport in Brazil for international flights: Tom Jobim Airport. It has much commerce and many industries, especially textiles, food, chemicals, and metallurgy. Most of these industries are located in the northern and western suburbs of the city. Although it is not so widely known, Rio de Janeiro also has a small rural area, near the suburb of Campo Grande, where fruits and vegetables are grown.

Other cities near Rio de Janeiro, like Duque de Caxias, Nova Iguaçu, Queimados and São Gonçalo, that form the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, also have a lot of industries and population.

The city is 420 kilometers (about 261 miles) away from São Paulo, the biggest city in South America. The cities of Rio and São Paulo are linked by the Presidente Dutra Highway (also known as Via Dutra). The region crossed by the Presidente Dutra Highway has been an important industrial zone since the 1950s.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro lies one of the oldest national parks of Brazil: Tijuca National Park. This park is considered the largest urban forest in the world, with some 33 km2, between the northern and the southern parts of the city. Another interesting place to visit in Rio is the district (in Portuguese, bairro) of Santa Tereza. The most interesting way to get there is by taking an old electric tram (in Portuguese, bonde) from central Rio de Janeiro (near Largo da Carioca subway station), crossing over the Arcos da Lapa, an old aqueduct built during the colonial period to provide water to the city.

On October 2, 2009, the city was named by the International Olympic Committee as the host for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

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