When a Portuguese explorer, Gaspar de Lemos and his team arrived at Guanabara Bay, they mistook it for mouth of the river Rio. This bay was later named as Rio de Janeiro, and a city established by the Portuguese in this region was named after it. French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon and his soldiers invaded this region in mid-sixteenth century and established a colony, but they were ousted years later by Portuguese military. The region was fortified, making it nearly impossible for other colonial rulers to enter it. Importance of Rio de Janeiro increased as Portuguese settlers began cultivating fertile lands and carrying out trade through sea route. When the Portuguese royal family and nobles of Lisbon moved to Rio de Janeiro after fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, the city was made a Portuguese capital and it became the only capital of a European nation which was outside the country. The city also faced an influx of numerous African slaves and their population grew significantly over the years. Brazil eventually became a republic in the year 1889, while Rio de Janeiro continued to be a capital city until Brasilia was officially made capital of Brazil in the year 1960.
Rio de Janeiro is simply called 'Rio' and is a second largest city of Brazil. It is also the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro. It has been nicknamed 'Cidade Maravilhosa' which means 'Marvelous City'. This is one of those few places in the world where tourists can experience a great deal of excitement from dawn till dusk. Its residents are extremely passionate people with great love for football. Travelers would also be mesmerized by the sights of lush green forests, amazing beaches and mountains. Buildings and churches that were built between the sixteenth and nineteenth century blends wonderfully with the ones that were constructed in the twentieth century. Older buildings are influenced to a great extent by Portuguese, French and English architecture. Tourism industry faced a decline during the period between 1985 and 1993. This prompted the government to take several measures to improve the city's economy in general and the tourism industry in particular.