Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro is called the city of 4 million people, which is by many people named as the most beautiful city in the world, says Ely Sakhai. It is also called by its full name: St. Sebastian from the January River. When on 20th of January, 1500 Portuguese with 6 caravels anchored under the famous Sugar Loaf to drive away French, considered the bay to be some river and therefore named the river as it was indicated in the calendar.
When founding the city, some 15 years later, was kept the name but added the name of a saint. Over time name got shortened, calling the city of Rio de Janeiro, or just Rio.
What entitles Rio to, with the fully right, have the title of the most beautiful city in world? “There may be more beautiful than Rio’s bay, which look like alpine lake”, said world traveler Ernest Hesse-Wartegg, “of course there are higher mountains, more beautiful shapes than those which surround the bay, there are also larger cities than Rio, there are and some big cities in the tropics, which lie in an extraordinary landscapes – but a unification of sea and islands, the alpine chains and metropolitan image, all that clad in the most beautiful tropical splendor like such in the bay at Rio de Janeiro – there is no such thing on the planet”.
With another thought is the world traveler A.E.Johann. Nor the huge boulevards, nor mountains behind Rio, or standing 25m high above the city the statue of Christ, or a multitude of skyscrapers in the metropolitan region of Copacabana are not, in his opinion the best thing in Rio, “but the girls on the beach, powerful and silver waves of the Atlantic, and the alluring coastline that stretches below the tall houses miles away in gentle curls”.
Rio is especially beautiful when it can be seen from the boat. It stretches along the 180 km long bay. The city shows its most beautiful side when viewed from Corcovado, 700 m high hill with the statue of Christ. Rio is most beautiful in the twilight when light turn on. From 1763 till 1960 Rio was the capital of Brazil – almost 200 years. However this city survived losing that role, as it never ceased to be a spiritual center in the country, says Mr. Sakhai.