Rio marks 450th anniversary with 450-meter cake

World Today

Founded on March first, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro celebrated its 450th anniversary. The official birthday celebration kicked off on Sunday, paying tribute to the founding of the so-called ‘Marvelous City’. CCTV’s Lucrecia Franco reported from Rio.

Known for its spectacular beaches and mountains, Rio de Janeiro is also famous for its striking contrasts. One third of the people here still live in the mountainside favelas, or slums, which are as recognizable as some of the city’s landmarks.

Rio marks 450th anniversary with 450-meter cake

Rio marks 450th anniversary with 450-meter cake

Founded on March first, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro celebrated its 450th anniversary. The official birthday celebration kicked off on Sunday, paying tribute to the founding of the so-called 'Marvelous City'. CCTV's Lucrecia Franco reported from Rio.

To mark its 450th anniversary, actors recreated the arrival of Portuguese colonizers, who founded the city to expel French intruders. The area had already been named Rio de Janeiro, or River of January in English, when the first Portuguese sailed into the bay and mistook it for a huge river mouth.

“Rio is a city with a long history, that has the identity of Brazil, that gave and received a lot of this country and summarizes what this country is,” Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio said.

Historian said that Rio’s strategic location in South America transformed it into one of Brazil’s most important urban areas.

“During the gold cycle it was the main port of exports, then it became the city that received the largest number of slaves from Africa and finally it became the capital of the Portuguese empire in the 19th century, and from then on, until 1960, it was not only the capital but the face of Brazil,” Historian Keila Gringber said.

While Rio is no longer Brazil’s capital, it still is the beating heart of the country. The city didn’t spare any effort to celebrate its 450th anniversary and one of the highlights was this 450 meter-long birthday cake.

The massive cake, placed in Rio’s downtown area, is the biggest many have ever seen.

Lucrecia Franco, CCTV, Rio de Janeiro