Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil, the sixth largest city in the Americas and the world's thirty-fifth largest city by population. The city districts centre is Centro, including Lapa and Santa Teresa, the financial and business centre also has many historic buildings from its early days; Zona Sul, including Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema, as well as the districts along Flamengo Beach; Zona Norte and Zona Oeste.
Rio was found in 1565, by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a captaincy of the Portuguese Empire. Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a State of the Portuguese Empire, until 1822 when the War of Brazilian Independence began. Rio 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.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere and is known for its natural settings, carnival celebrations, samba, bossa nova, Copacabana and Ipanema beach. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches 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, a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.