The site consists of an exceptional urban setting encompassing the key natural elements that have shaped and inspired the development of the city: from the highest points of the Tijuca National Park’s mountains down to the sea. They also include the Botanical Gardens, established in 1808, Corcovado Mountain with its celebrated statue of Christ, and the hills around Guanabara Bay, including the extensive designed landscapes along Copacabana Bay which have contributed to the outdoor living culture of this spectacular city. Rio de Janeiro is also recognized for the artistic inspiration it has provided to musicians, landscapers and urbanists.
The city of Rio de Janeiro, shaped by interaction with mountains and sea, lies in the narrow strip of alluvial plain between Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Its exceptionally dramatic landscape is punctuated by a series of forested mountains that tower over the city, rising to the uppermost peak of the Tijuca massif at 1,021 m high, and cascading down to the coast where the steep cone shapes of Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar), Urca, Cara de Cão and Corcovado frame the wide sweeps of Guanabara Bay that shelters Rio de Janeiro from the Atlantic Ocean.
Cradled between these mountains and Guanabara Bay, the urban landscape of the city has been shaped by significant historical events, influenced by a diversity of cultures, is perceived to be of great beauty, and is celebrated in the arts, through painting and poetry in particular.
The property encompasses all the key natural, structural elements that have constrained and inspired the development of the city.
These stretch from the highest points of the mountains of the Tijuca National Park with its restored Atlantic forest, down to the sea, and include the Botanical Gardens established in 1808, Corcovado mountain, with its statue of Christ, and the chain of dramatic steep green hills, Sugar Loaf, Pico, Leme and Glória, around Guanabara Bay, as well as the extensive designed landscapes on reclaimed land along Copacabana Bay which, together with Flamengo and other parks, have contributed to the outdoor living culture of the city.
The boundary includes all the best view points to appreciate the way nature has been shaped to become a significant cultural part of the city as well as the Guanabara Bay system of historic fortifications that gave Rio de Janeiro the character of a fortified city.