Brazil is another country, like the USA and Canada, which is blessed with numerous natural wonders. However, it also has some significant man-made structures as well. See my list below.
1. Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro. This 130-foot tall statue sits at the top of Corcovado Mountain and overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro. The icon turned 75 years old in October of 2006. It was recently voted in as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, in a competition sponsered and supervised by the Swiss-based New Open World Corporation.
2. Brasilia City Plan. Brasilia is the modern-designed, totally planned capital of Brazil. The city plan was the work of Lucio Costa (city planner) and Oscar Niemeyer (architect). It has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its innovative style and architecture. Some of its distinctive and unusual buildings include the National Congress Building, the Alvorada Palace (residence of the President), and Our Lady of Aparecida Basilica/Cathedral.
3. Church of San Francisco, Salvador de Bahia. The Baroque interior of this church is unequaled in all of Brazil. The inside is filled with gilded woodwork and artwork. The church dates from the early 18th century.
4. Bom Jesus de Matosinhos, Congonhas. The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas is another of Brazil’s Baroque masterpieces. It was designed and carried out by Aleijadinho, one of the greatest Baroque artists in the world. The sanctuary has also been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
5. Igereja de Nossa do Senhora do Carmo, Ouro Preto. Completed in the mid-1700’s, this is another Baroque masterpiece by Aleijadinho. Its location in the former mining town guaranteed that no expense would be spared in its construction.
6. Palacio do Itamaraty, Brasilia. This building is the home of Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and is one of the best examples of Brasilia’s unique, modern architecture. Entrance is across a bridge over a pool dotted with islands of tropical plants. The sculpture and artwork inside is breath-taking.
7. Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. This festival is celebrated several days before the onset of the Christian religious period of Lent and is signified by overindulgence prior to the sacrifices which must be made over the next forty days. The most elaborate and hedonistic carnival celebration takes place in Rio de Janeiro, with parades and many other activities.
Other sites considered:
Imperial Museum (Former Royal Palace), Petropolis, near Rio
Municipal Theater, Rio de Janeiro
Cathedral of Se, Belem