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Origin of the name

There are several versions for where the name Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) came from. According to historian Vieira Fazenda, the Portuguese named the mountain Pão de Açúcar inspired by the fact that inorder to transport sugar to Europe during the peak of the sugarcane cycle in Brazil (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), lumps of boiled and reduced juice obtained by pressing sugar cane were placed in cone-shaped clay molds called “sugarloaves” which resembled the famous mountain.
However, the mountain has been called in different ways along the years:
“Pau-nh-açuquã” in Tupi language – given by the Tamoios Indians, the indigenous inhabitants of the Guanabara Bay area – meaning “tall, isolated and pointy hill”; “Pot de beurre” given by the first French who invaded the region; “Pão de Sucar”, given by the first Portuguese colonizers; “Pot de Sucre” given by the second group of French invaders. According to old spelling rules of the Portuguese language, Pão de Açúcar was formerly spelled “Pão de Assucar” with a double “s”.
The name Pão de Açúcar caught on in the second half of the 19th century, when Rio de Janeiro received artistic missions by German artist Johann Moritz Rugendas and French artist Jean Baptiste Debret, who acclaimed the beauty of the mountain in magnificent drawings and prints.

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