Selaron Steps in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is a must visit and includes some wonderful tiles from over the world.
Brazil, known for its colourful streets offers a large variety of architectural and artistic delights on its cities’streets. In Rio de Janeiro, usually called Rio, the streets are alive and vibrant. Rio receives a large number of tourists from across the world and among some of the sites that are highly popular are the Selaron Steps. One look at these intricately decorated steps that took decades of work reveals why it stands as among the most clichéd places for tourists to take a picture in Rio.
Selaron Steps, locally known as Escadaria Selarón gets its name from the artist named Jorge Selarón. Born in Chile, this artist dedicated over 20 years of his life to decorate 215 steps of the staircase. Made with tiles from all over the world, these steps are worth beholding. “The story goes that Selarón created these steps in front of his house after being tired of seeing the ugly, plain ones. However, he has also called it a tribute to Brazil,” says a walking tour guide leading a few tourists though the neighborhood of Lapa where it is located. This set of stairs have been worked upon since 1990s, with over 2000 tiles covering it. Located in the neighbourhood of Rio that is known for its vibrant nightlife, the Selaron steps have somewhat become symbolic of Rio.
“Perhaps every tourist who comes here thinks these steps are incredible. Some say it is still unfinished, as did the artist who was mysteriously found dead on the staircase a few years ago,” says the tour guide. However, owing to its fame and popularity, these steps can gather swelling crowds. It is advisable to make a visit early in the day and avoid the afternoons as even walking through this beautiful gallery of mirrors, tiles and ceramics can become tedious and stressful.
A taste of the world
As a popular spot for pictures, these steps are covered with tiles from across the world which were donated to the artist by fans and patrons. Not only does one find people from across the world here, thus, one can find pieces of mosaic works from around the world. In reds, blues, yellows and intricately painted tiles, one can see wishes, symbols and images from over 70 countries.
One can also find several tiles depicting Hindu gods and goddesses such as Shiva and Ganesh. Upon a closer look, tiles with symbols of Om and the Swastika are scattered across. The steps contain several such tiles and more, and invite visitors to discover something new with each visit.