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News Photo gallery: 10 iconic landmarks in Brazil

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Photo gallery: 10 iconic landmarks in Brazil

As the Rio 2016 Olympics kick off in Brazil, we celebrate with a selection (seleção) of ten of the country's most breathtaking landmarks and attractions.

1. Arcos da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

One of the most famous man-made structures in Brazil, this eighteenth century aqueduct was built to bring fresh water from the Carioca river to the city and you can still visit what remains in Rio’s Lapa neighbourhood. For more of a local’s perspective of Rio, read their city guide.

Arcos da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

2. Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Travel to Brazil and you’ll no doubt be planning a visit to this beautiful barrio in Rio, famous for its 4km strip of sand, regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Make sure you take time to wander along the promenade or the Calçada Portuguesa. The ornate, bright blue tiled walkway was designed in the 1930s by Roberto Burle Marx, who was inspired by the colours of the sea.

Copacabana

3. The Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

The world’s largest stadium has hosted far more than just sports fixtures. Some of the world’s biggest music acts – including the Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Madonna – have played here, and the Pope has also hosted several masses at the venue.

The Maracanã Stadium

4. Montserrat Fort, Salvador, Bahia

This sixteenth century hexagonal fortress has an Italian-inspired design and overlooks Salvador’s port. It was built by the architect Baccio da Filicaia and is considered one of Brazil’s best examples of military architecture.

Montserrat Fort, Salvador de Bahia

5. São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo

If someone were to ask you “what is Brazil famous for?” you’d probably say Carnival, or maybe the Christ Redeemer statue – don’t worry, we’ve not left the big guy out, keep reading! Actually, what should come to mind is this fantastic museum, home to the world’s finest collection of Latin American art. You can stroll through MAM’s sculpture garden, or escape the heat inside the gallery and explore some of South America’s most striking contemporary art.

São Paulo Museum of Art

6. Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

One of the most famous landmarks in Brazil, Sugarloaf Mountain towers 1,299ft over Rio. Hop in the gondola and ride to the top of the mountain for spectacular views over the capital.

Sugarloaf Mountain

7. Unique Hotel, São Paulo

This beautiful building isn’t just a hotel, it’s a work of art. Designed by modernist architect Ruy Ohtake, it was was designed to resemble the hull of a ship, complete with circular, porthole-like windows. Whether his vision was a success is debatable: locals refer to it as ‘the watermelon’, you can kind of see why…

Unique Hotel, São Paulo

8. Iguazú Falls, Paraná

This is the largest waterfall in the world, as well as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and it sits on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Behind the main waterfall are over one hundred smaller ones, although the exact number varies depending on the season. The surrounding forest is home to thousands of creatures, including the opossum, a distant cousin of Australia’s famous furries and the only marsupial found outside of Oceania.

Iguazú Falls, Paraná

9. Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, Bahia

The beautiful, hilltop Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim is one of Brazil’s most famous churches. It was constructed in the late eighteenth century. One of its most notable features is the painted wooden ceiling, designed by Bahia artist Franco Velasco between 1818 and 1820.

Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim

10. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Built in the 1920s, Christ the Redeemer is the world’s tallest art deco statue, standing 98ft tall (not including the 26ft pedestal) and 92ft across at its widest point. Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss was the first person to suggest the construction of an enormous religious statue, but he couldn’t get funding. Luckily, the Catholic church stepped in and costs were eventually covered by Brazil’s Catholic community.

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), Rio

Still feeling left out of Rio 2016? Live the action for free with more articles on Brazil’s best bits:

Seven best beaches in Brazil

Seven sultry Brazilian beauties for sun, sea and sunsets.

Top 10 things to do in Brazil

From the beach to the bars, here’s where to go and what to see in Brazil.

How to travel safely in Brazil

Skyscanner’s Brazilian team share their tips on how to stay safe in Brazil and avoid street crime.

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