Rio de Janeiro Architecture

Rio de Janeiro Architecture, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is more than just a city of rich nightlife and beautiful beaches. One thing that adds to the city’s reputation of being one of the world’s most beautiful cities is the marvelous architecture of its public buildings, churches, and monuments.


From buildings that are Art-Deco styled to classical and historic structures, Rio de Janeiro’s architecture best captures Brazilian culture’s mystery and beauty – showcasing it in the physical form.


Throughout the neighborhoods of Rio are several architectures that could put tourists in awe. In the area of the Imperial Square or the Praca XV for instance, visitors can find the Royal Palace and the Chafariz do Mestre Valentim, which is a skillfully carved fountain constructed in 1780. Nearby the area is Latin America’s largest bank, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.


Here is a general overview of Rio de Janeiro’s architectural highlights:




Rio is home to many interesting and beautiful churches that tourists can explore; some took over a century to be erected, others are still on their original form, while there are some “updated” for a more contemporary look.


Included in the city’s architecturally interesting churches is the Igreja da Candelaria, which was constructed in the first half of the 17th Century but has been remodeled a lot of times resulting in a mix of architectural styles. The Igreja de Sao Jose, which features a contrast between the Rococo-styled interiors which were heavily engraved and the stone walls which are in a colonial whitewashed form is among Rio’s prided churches as well.




Although far from Moscow’s or Paris’s spectacular palaces, the two palaces in Rio de Janeiro – Palacio Itamaraty and Palacio Gustavo Capanema – are certainly still worth visiting.


Built during the 1850’s originally for a coffee merchant then was bought in 1889 by the new republican government, Palacio Itamaraty was then remodeled into a museum. Unfortunately, the palace has been closed for the public leaving only one exhibition room that tourists can explore.


The Palacio Gustavo Capanema on the other hand, which was constructed from 1932 to 1936, is a work of two of the country’s top architects: Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer. The two are also the masters behind Brasilia, Brazil’s new capital. At the time of its construction, the palace’s architecture was considered to be a “first of its kind”; it left many onlookers astounded by the structure’s design.


Other than these structures, there are still more architectural buildings that visitors will find interesting in Rio.