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Rio Carnival Pictures

Rio Carnival Pictures

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Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

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Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome

Air view of the Sambadrome

The Sambadrome, or "Sambódromo", is a large structure built in the downtown area. It includes several buildings which form a circular open area in the middle.

Designed by the famous Carioca architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Sambadrome consists of a 700 m stretch of the Marquês de Sapucaí Street converted into a permanent parade ground. It has bleachers on both sides for spectators and its capacity is 90,000 people. The Sambadrome also includes an area at the end of the carnival parade route, the Praça da Apoteose (Apotheosis Square), with the bleachers set further back from the parade area where revelers gather as they end their parade.

During the off season, the buildings of the Sambadrome are used as local public schools classrooms. Outside Carnival also season, Praça da Apoteose is occasionally used as a venue for international music concerts. Some of the artists who performed there include The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Robbie Williams, Elton John, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Avril Lavigne, Jonas Brothers, and a-ha. During December, samba schools start their technical rehearsals at the Sambadrome.

Rio´s Sambodromo
When the Samba Parade became too big and Samba Schools needed a more professional site, Governor Leonel Brizola hired Brazil´s most prominent architect, Oscar Niemeyer. In 110 days he built the Sambadrome.

The Sambodromo opened in On March 2, 1984. The structure is officially named Passarela do Samba Darcy Ribeiro, and it is the permanent home of the Samba Parade. Mangueira Samba School won that year.

The Sambodromo has several independent concrete structures on both sides of Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue. A few days before Carnival starts, the street is painted white and turned samba runway (the "passarela"). It ends at the Apotheosis Square. When Carnival takes over, the Sambodromo becomes the greatest show on earth!


The Sambodromo is divided in sectors, each sector having different kinds of seats. "Camarotes" (mezzanine boxes) are the most sought after positions, if you are in one of these boxes it means you are a special someone in Rio. Including, of course, free food and drinks this is where  football players, international stars, diplomats, politicians and models gather. Beware; a position in one of these boxes may go for as much as US$1,500. Boxes are located on the ground, first and second-floor levels. Each has twelve seats but sometimes they are joined into larger boxes.

"Frisas" (runway boxes) are numbered sets of six seats and a small coffee table. Individual seats here are usually around US$500-700 since they are street level and offer a very close view. Each odd sector has only four rows of "frisas" therefore there are not that many seats here.

"Arquibancadas" (i.e., bleachers or grand stand) have more reasonable prices. Its high location also gives viewers a much better idea of schools as a whole. Tickets to the numbered seat tourist sector with costs about US$500. Standard sectors (without numbered seats) have lower prices but keep in mind that in this regular bleaches there are no chairs since most people stand up and dance while.


All sectors have bars, stands and restrooms. A promenade within the Sambodromo, behind the bleachers has with restaurants, ice-cream stands, shops and restrooms. The largest food court is behind Sector 11.

There are some new additional structures between odd sectors that feature A/C and about the same as the mezzanine boxes.

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