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Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the Portuguese then-monarch Sebastião. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several mostly French pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin.

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Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state.

Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

The Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 19 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the XV Pan American Games.

Despite the high perception of crime, the city has a lower incidence of crime than Northeast Brazil, but it is far more criminalized than the south region of Brazil, which is considered the safest in the country.

On 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro.

The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro.

In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro became the chosen seat of the court of Queen Maria I of Portugal, who subsequently, in 1815, under the leadership of her son, the Prince Regent, and future King João VI of Portugal, raised Brazil to the dignity of a kingdom, within the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves.

Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822, when the War of Brazilian Independence began.

There was a large influx of African slaves to Rio de Janeiro: in 1819, there were 145,000 slaves in the captaincy.

In 1840, the number of slaves reached 220,000 people.

Consequently, Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony.

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