Forte de Copacabana

An Historic Fort in the Middle of the Tourist Area!

Entrance to Forte de Copacabana

A sightseeing visit to the Forte de Copacabana makes for a pleasant outing for a couple hours on a gray day when conditions on the beach are poor, or on a sunny day when you want to take some photos of the beach. The self guided walking tour is easy, and the history is not overwhelming.(in case your head hurts from having too many Caipirinhas the night before ..)

The entrance to the Fort is near the Sofitel Hotel at Posto 6. Enter past the Fishermen's Place (Posto dos Pescadores) and walk to the entrance. The cost is $R 4 per person, and the Fort is open Tuesdays- Sunday 10AM - 4PM.

If you are able to get a ticket to the event at the Forte de Copacabana on New Year's Eve (Revéillon), you will be afforded a prime spot to see the fireworks display on Copacabana Beach.

It's a great place to bring a camera and take photos during the day, as the views are wonderful, and it's a safe and secured military area. For more information, visit our Photo Tips and Slide show page.

The View towards Aropador beach

The old Copacabana Fort was built on a 28 acre rocky promontory that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and divides Copacabana and Arpoador Beaches. When you enter the Fort, you will have nice views of the small Fishermen's Place and up the coast towards Leme Beach. When you reach the end of the Fort, you have fantastic views of the rocky coast down to the beginning of Arpoador Beach.

Insider's Tip - On the upper end of Copacabana beach stands 700 ft Morro do Leme with it's 18th century fort on top. Take the short nature hike up to the fort, admire the 288 mm Howitzer cannons, and enjoy panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro.

German Krupp Cannons inside domed bunker at Forte de Copacabana

Krupp Cannons - the big guns

1920s era Telephone Room

The Fort was constructed in 1914, on the site of Our Lady of Copacabana Chapel. It was constructed in the form of a hardened bunker, with the external walls facing the sea being 40 ft thick. Within the domes set in the bunkers, are 305 mm German Krupp cannons, that swivel on turntables to provide full aim and command of the entrance to Guanabara Bay.

We could find no historical record of an engagement at Copacabana Fort, with an enemy fleet attempting to enter the bay. (These big guns may have given pause to any would be invaders...)

305mm Cannon shells ( deactivated!)

In the bunkers below, you will see stacks of deactivated 305mm cannon shells. You will also find mock ups in the underground military bunker that include officer's quarters, latrines, and a medical area.

Along the Copacabana side of the Fort are 19th century wheeled cannons on display.

19th Century Cannon

Insider's Tip - The famed Confeiteria Columbo has opened a small cafe within the walls of the Fort. Although it lacks the ambiance and character of the original cafe, which is located in Centro, this small restaurant makes for a nice stop. It's a pleasant place to have coffee and a dessert before heading back out of the Fort.

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