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Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502 (hence Rio de Janeiro, "January River"), by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet, or under Gonçalo Coelho.Allegedly the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition.The Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 19 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the XV Pan American Games.Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, which is considered the safest in the country.Consequently, Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony.The city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on 1 March 1565 and was named São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honour of St. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several, mostly French, pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin.The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo and Maxakalí peoples.
Rio de Janeiro 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 when the capital was transferred to Brasília.
The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro.
The kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, which, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe.
In addition to the beaches, some of the most famous landmarks 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 (Sambadrome), a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival; and Maracanã Stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.
Rio de Janeiro was the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, making the city the first South American and Portuguese-speaking city to ever host the events, and the third time the Olympics were held in a Southern Hemisphere city.