Escadaria Selarón

One of Rio’s newest tourist attractions was begun in 1990 by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón as his gift to the Brazilian people. Until his death in 2013, he covered a long flight of steps in front of his house with mosaics made of tiles, pottery, and mirrors, many in blue, green, and yellow – colors of the Brazilian flag.

Selarón began by using broken tiles that he salvaged from construction sites and demolitions of old buildings, but as his steps drew the attention of tourists, people began bringing him pottery and tiles from all over the world. Now pieces from more than 60 countries are represented in the 250 steps, which cover 125 meters of stairs. The steps are a popular film location and were featured in Rio’s 2016 Olympic bid video.