Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire.
Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire.
is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas.
It was the main stage of the abolitionist and republican movements in the last half of the 19th century.
At that time the number of African slaves was drastically reduced and the city was developed, with modern drains, animal trams, train stations crossing the city, gas and electric lighting, telephone and telegraph wiring, water and river plumbing.
On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro.
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.
Rio de Janeiro the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state.
Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, and future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves.Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, estimated at about R3 billion (IBGE, 2008) (nearly US1 billion).It is headquarters to Brazilian oil, mining, and telecommunications companies, including two of the country's major corporations—Petrobras and Vale—and Latin America's largest telemedia conglomerate, Grupo Globo.The kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, which, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe.