Urca

Charming Buildings, a Fort, Beaches, Bars and of course the Sugar Loaf

A charming locality in Rio de Janeiro, Urca is known to be the home of the 'Sugar Loaf Mountain' and a preferred area of the city. It offers fabulous views of the Flamengo Park, the Bay of Botafogo and the Niteroi Bridge.

Sugar Loaf Mountain

This well-known mountain is a conspicuous landmark in Urca overlooking Rio at the opening of Guanabara Bay. In Portuguese this mountain is called 'Pão de Açucar' because of its rare shape.

A couple of cable cars transfer visitors to the peak from where you can have an amazing view of Urca and its surroundings. As you go higher up, the landscape will exhilarate you. You can see 'Praia de Fora' an isolated beach of Rio and the 'Sao Joao fort'.

Another beautiful sight in Urca is the scenic football field in the whole world. Sugar Loaf Mountain is on one side of the goal post and the fort is on the other. One of the sidelines is bordered by the Bay of Guanabara.
If you are taking a ride in the cable car up to the Sugar Loaf Mountain, you may identify scenes from the famous film Moonraker, which had some scenes filmed here.

A Peak into the History of Entertainment

'Casino da Urca' which does not exist today was the place where Carmen Miranda, a Hollywood actress was spotted by a visiting Hollywood film maker while she was performing as a singer. She used to live in a small house in Urca on 'Rua Sao Sebastiao'. The house with the number 131 has the words inscribed 'Pequena Notavel' meaning 'little wonder', if you are interested you can walk down this lane to have a look at this house.

From the 1930s until it was shut in 1946, an old casino at the 'Praia da Urca' used to present trendy shows featuring budding artists. The long connection that Urca had with entertainment is revealed in the many Brazilian artists and musicians who live here that includes Roberto Carlos, regarded as the country's Elvis Presley.

Forte Sao Joao

This fort in Urca is now a military base. It was here that the Portuguese formally expelled the French in 1567 although only partially. The walls of the fort reveal typical Portuguese architecture.

Monuments Galore in Urca

Urca is famous for the very many monuments that have influenced the culture and religion of Rio. The statue of 'Chopin' was erected on Red Beach in 1964. It was donated to the country by the Polish population living there. The floating statue of St. Peter is another monument worth seeing.

Eating Places

'Zozo' is a barbeque restaurant in Urca at the bottom of Sugar Loaf Mountain. The service, decor and the setting is overwhelming as the glass ceiling enables you to watch the numerous cable cars that pass by. It's worth taking your eyes off the outside view to relish some impeccable dishes such as the chorizo, steaks and salads.
'Bar Urca' is the best option for those who like seafood. 'Garota da Urca' is also a fine restaurant and their popular dishes are rice with chips and picanha.

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