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Rio de Janeiro is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1822 during the Portuguese colonial era, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It is also the former capital of the Portuguese Empire. Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa or "The Marvelous City." Rio is considered a Beta World City. Rio de Janeiro is famous for its natural settings, its carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova and hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a giant permanent parade avenue lined with grandstands which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and will be the first South American city to host the event. The city also boasts the largest and second largest urban forests in the world: Floresta da Tijuca, or "Tijuca Forest."[6] and (almost connected to the first) the forest in Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, or White Stone State Park. The Galeão-Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport, commonly known simply as Galeão connects Rio de Janeiro with many Brazilian cities and also operates several international flights. 

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