Why the name rio de janeiro to the wonderful city
Below we list some curiosities of why our city of Rio de Janeiro have this name and some more curiosities of its history of housing, alliances, battles and foundation.
The Portugueses arrived here in January 1502 and spent a few days inside their ships trying to maintain a friendly communication with the Tupi Tribe of the Tupinambás Indians (also known as Tamoios). Guanabara Bay was, on the arrival of the Portuguese in January 1502, mapped with the toponymia “Rio de Janeiro”, because they believed it was the mouth of a river. At that time, there was no distinction of nomenclature between rivers, sacks and bays, which is why the chosen name was not incorrect.
The cloudy weather during these days did not help the complete view of the Bay or the Serras dos Orgãos, which embellished the surroundings of the Bay. Subsequently, an alliance was agreed between the Portuguese and the Tupinambás, which would be based on the exchange of modern handicrafts brought from Europe in exchange for the workmanship of the natives who would go to the Forest cut Pau Brazil trees (which would later originate the name of the Country ) and bring them to the coast, from where Portugueses ships would take them to sell in European countries.
Only the present island of the Governor (then known as the island of Paranapuã) was occupied by a rival Tupi tribe: the Temiminos, who in 1555 would in future form an alliance with the Portuguese, when this year the French, led by Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon, arrived in Rio de Janeiro and would aim to install the state of France-Antarctica in the region, and made an alliance with the Tupinambás – former allies of the French.
With the battle, known as Battle of the Canoes, defeated by the Portuguese side (with a legend says that the spirit of San Sebastian won the battle for them), the foundation of the city occurred in 1565, and, led by Estácio de Sá, was officially named as São Sebastião do Rio do Janeiro.
São Sebastião was the devout patron of the Portuguese who arrived here. And because of this devotion brought from Portugal to Brazil, it was decided that it would be part of the official name of the city.
Our private guide in Rio de Janeiro can tell you about this story in one of our Private Tours in Rio de Janeiro!