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Rio de Janeiro, "River of January" English is a major city in southeastern Brazil and the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The city was once the capital of Brazil (1763?1960) and of the Portuguese Empire (1808?1821). Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa - "The Marvelous City".
It is famous for its spectacular natural setting, its Carnival celebrations, samba and other music, hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema, paved with decorated black and cream swirl pattern mosaics, and also for its huge social disparities, shanty towns, violence and drug traffic. Some of the most famous local landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain; Sugarloaf mountain (P