Fodor's Expert Review Forte de Copacabana and Museu Histórico do Exército
Copacabana Fort was built in 1914 as part of Rio's first line of defense, and many original features, such as the thick brick fortification and old Krupp cannons, are still visible. In the '60s and '70s, during Brazil's military dictatorship, political prisoners were kept here. The fort is impressive in itself, and the entrance archway perfectly frames a postcard view of Sugar Loaf. The best views, however, follow the path to its end and climb the steep stairs to the cannon roof, which juts right out into the ocean and takes in sweeping vistas over the Zona Sul beaches. The on-site military-history museum is worth a stop, and there are two good cafés here as well as a gift shop. During the Brazilian summer, violin recitals, classical music performances, and outdoor cinema screenings are held here, many free of charge.