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Built in 1914 on a headland at the end of Copacabana beach, the Fort of Copacabana was once Rio’s main defense against attacks from the sea. Brazil deactivated the fort as a coastal artillery post in the '80s and it now houses a museum on the history of the Brazilian army. Outside, some of the old features remain, such as a cupola with cannons. Even though the fort is interesting in itself, it’s particularly worth a visit because of its location and postcard-perfect views of the Sugar Loaf and the entire stretch of Copacabana beach. You can take a stroll along the shady promenade or indulge on coffee and pastries from one of Rio’s finest coffee houses, Café Colombo, along the promenade. The fort will be one of the venues for the 2016 Olympics. You will have to pay a small entrance fee (R$6) to gain access to the site.