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Portela samba school is declared intangible cultural heritage of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Portela has been officially declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Rio de Janeiro. Governor Claudio Castro sanctioned the law that gives the title to the samba school, published in the Diário Oficial Monday (6).

The bill is authored by state deputy Dionísio Lins (Progressive) and was approved by the Legislative Assembly of Rio (Alerj) almost a month ago. According to the legislator, the initiative had the objective of preserving the history of the association.

“It is considered within the scope of the State of Rio de Janeiro, as intangible heritage, to preserve the culture of samba, music, and history, as well as the promotion of the rehearsal site and tourist visitation of one of the largest popular parties in the country,” says the decree signed by Claudio Castro.

Portela samba school is declared intangible cultural patrimony of Rio de Janeiro
Portela samba school is declared intangible cultural patrimony of Rio de Janeiro. (Photo internet reproduction)

Founded in 1923 in the Oswaldo Cruz neighborhood, Portela has become a significant reference for the region’s residents and the entire city.


The blue and white organization is the samba school with the most titles, with 22 trophies, and the only one that has participated in all the annual Carnaval parades in the city. Since the 1930s, the organization has been one of Rio’s leading samba schools and, in 2001, was recognized with the Order of Cultural Merit by the Presidency of the Republic.

Known as the Majesty of Samba, Portela was the first school to innovate in its parades: in 1935, it introduced an allegorical float, and in 1939, it presented the first samba theme tied to the floats, and the first “front commission” a small group of members heading the parade.

It is worth remembering that the samba school’s headquarters, located in the heart of Madureira, is one of the city’s major cultural sites and receives visitors and events all year round.

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