The steps of Selarón situated on Rua Joaquim Silvia Selarón Lapa are to Rio what the Spanish steps are to Rome. Beautifully tiled with mosaic tiles and mirror, these 250 steps, measuring 125 metres long, are a true artistic feat requiring years of hard work and dedication.
In order to complete the work of art as it now stands more than 2,000 tiles collected from more than 60 countries were used. Despite its immense beauty the Escadaria Selarón is about more than just an artistic feat. It is a love story that ended in tragedy very befitting the Latin culture of love and tragedy. These steps truly are a must see when visiting Rio.
The story of Escadaria Selarón starts with a Chilean artist named Jorge Selarón who settled in Rio in 1983. After travelling the world and visiting 57 countries, he decided to call Rio home. This artist decided to begin with renovating the steps close to where he lived on a whim as the area was extremely run down and the grey steps an empty canvas for someone with an artistic eye. In the year 1990 Jorge began work on the steps, not having the funds to begin such a project he began to collect old tiles from construction sites and many other places in the area. As he soon ran out of tiles he funded his project by selling his paintings and sculptures. As he continued his work he accepted donations from passers-by and foreigners in order to complete his work. Many times his friends who travelled would bring back tiles that they collected for him from different countries.
Though he was first mocked by the people in the area for his use of greens, blues and yellows, the colours of the Brazilian flag he kept working on his solitary art piece which he called his tribute to the Brazilian people. What started out as an idea turned out to be an all-consuming passion, a labour of love for the country he had come to call home.
The steps soon became a tourist attraction as people came to see the artist working day and night on these steps. The work lasted more than 20 years before his dead body was found on the very steps named after him. Although an official cause of death has not been established it is speculated that he committed suicide brought on by depression.
Take a moment to look at the steps and speculate on Jorge's passion for the Brazilian people.
Facts For Your VisitFee: No
Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.Hours This Week:
- Monday: Open 24 hours
- Tuesday: Open 24 hours
- Wednesday: Open 24 hours
- Thursday: Open 24 hours
- Friday: Open 24 hours
- Saturday: Open 24 hours
- Sunday: Open 24 hours
Address: R. Joaquim Silva, S/N - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20241-110, Brazil
Phone: (21) 96437-2680
Official Website: Escadaria Selarón | Selaron Steps
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 1 - Orange or Line 2 - Green||Gloria||10 Minutes|
How to get to Escadaria Selarón | Selaron Steps by Metro
Exit Gloria Station and walk north along Rua da Gloria which becomes Rua da Lapa. When you get to Rua Teotonio Regadas go left and follow it straight to the Selarón Steps which you should now see at end of the road.
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Ratedout of 5
Iconic place in Rio, must see. Once there do not go without walking around Santa Teresa. You could also take the street rail. It's tiring, remember to bring water.
Mariano Real - 1 hour ago
This is an interesting stop in Rio. The neighborhood is not the best and our tour guide warned us against visiting the area after dark... And against going too far up the stairs as well. That said, the location was scenic and the history is intriguing. I can't say for sure how accurate the warnings we received are, but take care if you are planning a visit.
Dan Scheffer - 17 days ago
3rd most visited attraction in Rio. Prepare to find a long queue of people trying to take pictures at the same spot. Enjoy tiles from everywhere in the world and pick up your cheap souvenir on the tent at the bottom of the stairs.
Pâmela Neder - 18 days ago
Charming place. A must see. Totally crowded though. Good atmosphere.
Lars Eberhardt - 19 days ago
This is a site to be seen. Amazing work with all the tiles from around the world. The only down side to this is the area it's in. Feels very sleazy and dodgy. But once you go during day time you should be fine. When I was there police were parked at the base. Not sure if they are there all the time. But definitely something to go see while in Rio. Have to be very careful everywhere in Rio
Suraiya Patel - 3 months ago