- Guanabara Bay
In Portuguese, Baía da Guanabara is an oceanic
baylocated in southeastern Brazilin the state of Rio de Janeiro. On its Western shorelies the city of Rio de Janeiro, and on its Eastern shore the cities of Niteróiand São Gonçalo. Four other municipalities surround the bay's shores. Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in area in Brazil, at convert|412|km2|sqmi, with a perimeter of convert|143|km|mi.
The name Guanabara comes from the
Tupi-Guaranilanguage, "goanã-pará", from "gwa" "bay", plus "nã" "similar to" and "ba'ra" "sea". Traditionally, it is also translated as "the bosom of sea."
Guanabara Bay is convert|31|km|mi long and convert|28|km|mi wide at its maximum. Its convert|1.5|km|mi wide mouth is flanked at the northern tip by the
Pico do Papagaio(Parrot's Peak) and the southern tip by Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf).
There are more than 130 islands dotting the bay, including:
The bay is crossed by the mighty
Rio-Niterói Bridge(convert|13.29|km|mi long and with a central span convert|72|m|ft high) and there is heavy boat and ship traffic, including regular ferryboatlines. The Port of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the city's two airports, Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport(on Governador Island) and Santos Dumont Airport(on a landfillnext to downtown Rio), are located on its shores. The Federal University of Rio de Janeiromain campus is located on the artificial Fundão Island. A maze of smaller bridges seamlessly interconnect the two largest islands, Fundão and Governador, to the mainland.
Guanabara's Bay, surrounded by luxuriant
tropical forests, beaches, strangely-shaped rocks and peaks, and a backdrop of the high mountains of Serra do Mar, is bordered by one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so it is considered one of the world's premier tourist spots.
Unfortunately, due to
urbanization, deforestationand pollution of its waters with sewage, garbage, oil spills, etc., Guanabara Bay's ecosystem, which used to be incredibly rich and diversified in the past, has suffered a lot, particularly along its mangroveareas. Recovery measures are currently being tried, but not on the scale needed, so the pollution remains.
Guanabara Bay was discovered in
January 1, 1502by Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos, who named it Rio de Janeiro ("January River"), because they thought it was a large rivercoming to the sea. Natives of the Tamoioand Tupiniquimtribes inhabited the shores of the bay. After its initial discovery, no significant European settlements were established until French colonist and soldiers, under the HuguenotAdmiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignoninvaded the region in 1555 to establish the France Antarctique. After a brief stay on Lajes Island, they moved to Serigipe Island, near the shore, and built there Fort Coligny. After they were expelled by Portuguese military expeditions in 1563, the colonial government built fortifications in several points of Guanabara Bay, rendering it almost impregnable against a naval attack from the sea. They were the Santa Cruz, São João, Lajes and Villegaignon forts, forming a fearsome crossfire rectangle of big naval guns. Other islands were adapted by the Navyto host naval storehouses, hospitals, drydocks, oil reservoirs and the National Naval Academy.
* [http://www.cibg.rj.gov.br/ Information Center for Guanabara Bay] . State Government of Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese).
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Look at other dictionaries:
Guanabara Bay — ▪ bay, Brazil Portuguese Baía de Guanabara, bay of the Atlantic Ocean, southeastern Brazil, with Rio de Janeiro on its southwest shore and Niterói on its southeast. Discovered around 1502, it was originally named Rio de Janeiro Bay.… … Universalium
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