My interest in Brazilian culture started at a very young age, which led me to listen to a lot of Brazilian music, watch Brazilian movies and TV Series like “A Coisa Mais Linda” or read Clarice Lispector and Hilda Hilst. Then, after living and studying in Portugal for more than a year and making a lot of Brazilian friends, I thought I already knew quite a lot about one of my most favourite countries.
As you can see from my previous blog post about Rio de Janeiro, my childhood dream of visiting Brazil finally came true in 2018, when I flew from Lisbon to Rio and discovered the highly anticipated Brazilian city like a local. I realized that I still had a lot to learn about Brazil when during one simple Metro ride a local girl asked me “but did you know once we also were “officially” European?” I smiled without really understanding what she was talking about when she added: “Rio is the only non-European city in the world that has been the capital of a European country. Can you guess which one?”
My confusion mixed with curiosity made me say “Portugal?” but within seconds I started questioning the reality of my own guess, because I have been studying Portuguese language and culture for quite a while already, and no one has ever mentioned Rio being the capital of Portugal.
After a small, nice and very informative talk in the safest transport of Rio de Janeiro, I decided to do a little research about Rio once being a European capital city.
That is how I found out that everything the Brazilian lady told me was right!
In the 19th century following the conquest of Portugal by Napoleon, the Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil and established the capital of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro for thirteen years. You can see a full article and more detailed information here.
Who would’ve guessed, right?!
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