The Sugarloaf Hill, known as “Pão de Açucar” is a 396 meters high peak situated in the very heart of Rio de Janeiro at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, in the neighborhood of Urca.
Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf) consists of a monolith, with a single block of granite, which has been altered by pressure and temperature, with the emerging clash between the continents of South America and Africa. It is estimated that has been formed for more than 600 million years. It is surrounded by a remnant of Atlantic forest .
Sugarloaf Hill Cablecar is one of the main attractions of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
There are several versions about the origin of the name. One of the best known indicates the Portuguese were responsible. During the height of the cultivation of sugar cane in Brazil (XVI and XVII century), after being squeezed sugarcane juice and boiled and refined, sugar blocks were placed in a clay form tapered (to transport them to Europe ), called “sugar loaf”. The similarity of the cliff carioca with that form of clay have originated the name.
Famous figures like scientist Albert Einstein , former president of the United States John F. Kennedy, and English singer Elton John have been through the Sugar Loaf, and the many artists who performed at the Morro da Urca, mainly in the 80s.
In 1977, the American tightrope walker Steven McPeak walked on the chairlift cable between the Morro da Urca and the Sugarloaf, holding a metal rod as a counterweight.
A sequel to the film ” 007 Against the Death Rocket “with Roger Moore as James Bond, filmed in 1979, helped promote the city and abroad.
In 1990, a tribute to the race car driver Ayrton Senna was displayed in Morro da Urca as a Formula 1 car. And most recently, in 2004, the Olympic Torch for Olympics in Athens and in 2007 the Olympic Torch of the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro visited Sugar Loaf.