Escadaria Selaron also known as the Lapa Steps was a project started in 1990 by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron.
One day he was decorating his home and he decided to continue the design out onto the staircase. He first started using whatever ceramic tiles he could find discarded from building sites around Rio, later most of the tiles were donated by visitors.
To help fund the project he had to sell many paintings, mostly of the same pregnant woman. He often used to like drawing his portrait on the body of a pregnant woman as you will see in one of the pictures below.
There are 215 steps and the project finished in 2013 when he was found dead on the steps.
The steps are world famous and have featured in many music videos, firstly by Snoop Dog.
Also in the Lapa region of Rio is the Carioca Aqueduct, which used to carry fresh water into the city.