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This is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country officially shifted to a city in one of its colonies.Rio de Janeiro subsequently served as the capital of the independent monarchy, the Empire of Brazil, until 1889, and then the capital of a republican Brazil until 1960 when the capital was transferred to Brasília.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, estimated at about R3 billion (IBGE, 2008) (nearly US1 billion).

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The home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data.

such as Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon.

In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks include the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf Mountain with its cable car; the Sambódromo (Sambadrome), a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.

is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas.

The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, the second-most populous metropolitan area in Brazil and sixth-most populous in the Americas.

Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state.Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire.Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire.In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, and future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves.Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began.

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