Joana Hulse

Joana Hulse

Published: 13 Sep 2023


The Selarón Steps, also known as Escadaria Selarón, is a world-renowned staircase located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Covering 215 steps, this vibrant masterpiece captures the hearts of both locals and tourists alike. Created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón, these steps are not only a visual spectacle but also hold a rich history and fascinating stories.

In this article, we will delve into 15 extraordinary facts about the Selarón Steps that will take you on a journey through art, culture, and inspiration. From its origins to its unique design and the incredible impact it has had on the community, each fact sheds light on the significance of this iconic landmark. So, let’s explore the secrets and hidden gems that make the Selarón Steps a must-visit destination for every art enthusiast and history lover.

Table of Contents

The Selarón Steps are a breathtaking work of art.

The Selarón Steps, also known as the Escadaria Selarón, is a world-renowned mosaic staircase located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was created by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón as a tribute to the Brazilian people and culture. The steps are adorned with over 2,000 colorful tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world, making it a truly extraordinary sight.

The inspiration behind the Selarón Steps.

Jorge Selarón started working on the steps in 1990, as a personal project to enhance the dilapidated stairs that connected the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa. The inspiration for this incredible project came from Selarón’s dream of creating beautiful urban spaces and his desire to bring people together through art.

The steps underwent continuous transformation.

One of the remarkable aspects of the Selarón Steps is that they were constantly evolving. Selarón dedicated his life to the ongoing transformation of the steps, spending over 20 years adding, rearranging, and replacing tiles. This constant evolution allowed the steps to take on a dynamic and ever-changing appearance, captivating visitors from all over the world.

The colors have symbolic significance.

The mosaic tiles used in the Selarón Steps come in a wide array of colors, each with its own symbolic meaning. The vibrant hues represent the diversity and cultural richness of Brazil, as well as the unity of different nations coming together on the steps.

The Selarón Steps have been featured in movies and music videos.

The stunning visual appeal of the Selarón Steps has caught the attention of filmmakers and musicians alike. They have been featured in popular movies such as “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” and music videos like Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful” and U2’s “Walk On.” The steps serve as a backdrop for these artistic expressions, adding an extra layer of charm and beauty.

It is considered one of the most visited landmarks in Rio de Janeiro.

The Selarón Steps attract millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro. People from all walks of life come to marvel at the intricate mosaic patterns and soak in the vibrant atmosphere surrounding the steps.

The steps have become a symbol of unity and creativity.

The Selarón Steps have become more than just a tourist attraction. They represent the power of art to transcend borders and bring people together. The diverse tiles collected from different countries symbolize unity, harmony, and cultural exchange, making the steps a powerful symbol of human creativity and collaboration.

Jorge Selarón was found dead on the steps.

In a tragic turn of events, Jorge Selarón, the artist behind the steps, was found dead on the very staircase he dedicated his life to. His death in 2013 came as a shock to the local community and art enthusiasts around the world, but his legacy lives on through the incredible masterpiece he left behind.

The Selarón Steps have undergone restoration efforts.

Following Selarón’s death, local authorities and art enthusiasts have taken up the responsibility of preserving and maintaining the Selarón Steps. Restoration efforts have been carried out to ensure that the enchanting mosaic staircase continues to amaze visitors for generations to come.

The Selarón Steps have inspired other artists.

The awe-inspiring beauty of the Selarón Steps has inspired countless artists around the world. From photographers capturing its vibrant colors to painters drawing inspiration from its unique patterns, the steps have become a muse for artistic expression in various forms.

Each tile on the steps is unique.

One of the fascinating aspects of the Selarón Steps is that each tile used in the mosaic is unique, with its own story and origin. Selarón meticulously selected and curated tiles from different parts of the world, ensuring that no two tiles were the same, adding to the mesmerizing visual tapestry of the steps.

The Selarón Steps are considered a work in progress.

While Jorge Selarón may no longer be here to continue his artistic endeavors on the steps, his spirit lives on. Many artists and volunteers contribute to the ongoing maintenance and restoration of the Selarón Steps, keeping his vision alive and ensuring that this extraordinary masterpiece remains a vibrant and ever-evolving work of art.

The steps have become a symbol of resilience.

The Selarón Steps have witnessed the passage of time and the resilience of the local community. Despite facing vandalism and wear and tear, they have been restored with love and dedication, standing as a testament to the strength and spirit of the people.

The Selarón Steps are loved by locals and tourists alike.

The Selarón Steps have captured the hearts and imaginations of both locals and tourists. Locals consider them a symbol of pride and cultural heritage, while tourists explore every step with awe and wonder, immersing themselves in the beauty and history that these steps exude.

The Selarón Steps are a must-see attraction in Rio de Janeiro.

For anyone visiting Rio de Janeiro, the Selarón Steps are an absolute must-see. The extraordinary mosaic masterpiece offers a unique and unforgettable experience, leaving visitors in awe of the artistic vision and the vibrant spirit that pulsates through each tile on these iconic stairs.


The Selarón Steps is a truly remarkable landmark, known for its vibrant colors and unique artistic touches. These 215 steps, adorned with over 2,000 tiles from different parts of the world, have become a symbol of the artistic spirit of Rio de Janeiro. With its fascinating history and visionary creator, Jorge Selarón, the steps have captivated locals and tourists alike. As you climb the steps and immerse yourself in the mosaic of colors, you can’t help but be in awe of the creativity and passion that went into their creation. The Selarón Steps are an extraordinary testament to the power of art to transform a space and bring people together.


Q: Who created the Selarón Steps?
A: The Selarón Steps were created by the renowned Chilean artist, Jorge Selarón. He devoted over 20 years of his life to transforming the steps into a vibrant masterpiece.

Q: How many tiles are used in the Selarón Steps?
A: There are over 2,000 tiles from more than 60 countries that adorn the Selarón Steps. Each tile has its own unique design and adds to the colorful mosaic.

Q: Can I walk on the Selarón Steps?
A: Yes, visitors are welcome to walk on the Selarón Steps. However, it is important to be respectful and avoid causing any damage to the artwork.

Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit the Selarón Steps?
A: No, there is no entrance fee to visit the Selarón Steps. They are open to the public and can be accessed at any time.

Q: Where are the Selarón Steps located?
A: The Selarón Steps are located in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They connect the neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa and are easily accessible to visitors.