The beaches and hills of Rio contributed to it becoming one of the world’s most famous cities. The people living here added the rest.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes several hundred properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Title: Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea
Date of Inscription: 2012
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1100:
“The listed site consists of an exceptional urban setting rather than built heritage. It encompasses the key natural elements that have shaped and inspired the development of the city: from the highest points of the Tijuca National Park’s mountains down to the sea. They also include the Botanical Gardens, established in 1808, Corcovado Mountain with its celebrated statue of Christ and the hills around Guanabara Bay, including the extensive designed landscapes along Copacabana Bay which have contributed to the outdoor living culture of this spectacular city. Rio de Janeiro is also recognized for the artistic inspiration it has provided to musicians, landscapers and urbanists.”
I visited Rio in 1987. Let me quote two paragraphs from my letter home:
“We have done some sightseeing in this great city: The Sugarloaf Mountain; the Corcovado Mountain (with a 40 metre statue of Christ almost embracing Rio and with a great view); the Copacabana beach; and a lot of others. The impressions are many. It is really exciting with the palm lined avenues and human beings of all body shapes and races.
The beaches in the city are huge: Kilometre-long and wide; reasonably crowded and lively; sun and sea temperatures between 30 and 20 degrees respectively. Especially for sister: You should’ve seen all the men walking about on the beaches. They are all very well trained and well proportioned. Not too much, they all look very well. (Even my good looking body is a few notches behind these athletes.)”