Although Rio de Janeiro is famous for its stunning natural vistas and breathtaking beaches, it is also home to some of the most incredible architectural landmarks in the world. The buildings and monuments reflect a rich history and vibrant culture that has made its mark in various architectural forms. Here is a round up some of Rio's most significant and iconic architectural landmarks.
This majestic landmark is a must-see in Rio de Janeiro. Christ the Redeemer is an enormous Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. This 98ft-high statue sits at the summit of the Corcovado Mountain (2,300 ft) overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. A symbol of Christianity around the globe, the statue was built by Heitor da Silva Costa and designed by Paul Landowski.
Built in 2015, the Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum and one of the most recent architectural wonders in Rio. Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava designed this futuristic waterfront museum. The museum focuses on the relationship between the sustainability and the natural environment. The museum features 53,819 square feet of exhibition space, which is surrounded by 81,805 square feet plaza extending along the Guanabara Bay.
Synonymous with glamour and luxury, this large Art Deco hotel is the crown jewel of Copacabana and a masterpiece on Rio’s architectural scene. The building is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, an elegant pool bar, and tranquil spa all waiting to be explored inside its art-deco walls. Copacabana Palace was built in 1923 and designed by Joseph Gire. The hotel has received many celebrity guests including Madonna, the Rolling Stones and Diana Princess of Wales. It also played a significant role in the film "Flying Down to Rio" starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Perched on scenic Guanabara Bay, Ilha Fiscal (The Castle of the Island) is a lime-green, neo-Gothic style palace designed by the engineer Adopho Del Vecchio in 1889. Originally built as the home of the Brazilian port authority, Ilha Fiscal has been transformed as a cultural history museum and is managed by the Brazilian navy.
Located at the foot of the Corcovado, Parque Lage, with its stunning mansion, is famous for its architectural beauty. The land is surrounded by a delightful park where little paths drift vaguely across the exotic flora. In the background is Christ the Redeemer, towering over the park. The mansion was the earlier residence of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, Gabriella Besanzoni. The mansion is currently home to a café and visual art school, which hosts free art exhibitions, seminars, and lectures.
Nestled within the north east of Flamengo Park, Rio's Museum of Modern Art is known for its fabulous collections and magnificent architectural innovation. The museum was designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy and landscaped by Roberto Burle Marx. Longitudinal beams connect the external pillars of the building, and a large outdoor terrace creates an impressive design which was completed in 1955. The museum offers a great collection of visual artworks, photographs, film, and documents.
One of the best works by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum is one of Rio's most distinctive landmarks. Built in 1996, the spectacular building looks like a flying saucer with a curved structure sits on a cliff side over Guanabara Bay. There is also a reflecting pool in the base of the museum. The museum also houses a central exhibition hall and an auditorium. The museum enables visitors to admire lovely views from the courtyard.
Located in Luís de Camões Street, this stunning library is home to the most extensive collection of Portuguese texts outside Portugal. This massive library was opened in 1887 and holds over 350,000 volumes including rare original manuscripts, unique works of literature, and variety of proofs. Its breathtaking architectural design and its rich collection of texts send the visitors back to the 19th century. Designed by Rafael da Silva e Castro, the library was built in a Neo-Manueliene style that reflects the Gothic-Renaissance style of the Portuguese Discovery period. The library also contains paintings and other pieces of art, making it not only a jaw-dropping architectural landmark but a vital hub of Portugal’s history.