Escadaria Selarón

These uniquely adorned steps are one of Rio's most interesting public artworks, and definitely worth a visit.

Visit Rio’s most famous public artwork

The Escadaria Selarón, or Lapa Steps, are a work of art by Jorge Selarón, a Chilean-born artist who eventually made his home in Rio and fell in love with the city. The steps are his tribute to the Brazilian people, and he worked on them from 1990 right up until his death in 2013, constantly making changes so that the work was always evolving, and receiving tiles to complete the mosaic from visitors to the city from all over the world.

One of Rio’s greatest mysteries

Selarón’s death occurred under mysterious circumstances, and no one knows to this day why he ended up dead on the steps he’d worked on for the past twenty years–some speculate it was suicide, others a business deal gone wrong. But the fact that these steps were truly his life’s work, and that he appears to have been working on them right up until the moment when he died, adds to the wonder of the place. For art lovers, this is a must-visit destination in Rio.