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Fortaleza city profile

Population: 2.3 mill

Federal State: Ceara

Airports: Fortaleza International Airport

Origins: Fortaleza's history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzn landed in Mucuripe's cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolacin. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began when the Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fortim de So Tiago in the estuary of Cear River in 1603.

Brazil 2014Brazilian History starts officially on April 22nd 1500, when Portuguese navigator Pedro lvares Cabral reached the coast of Bahia (there are, however, non-official evidences that other Spanish navigators would have visited the coast of Cear and Pernambuco before Cabral).

With scarce resources (human and financial) to settle the new found land, the King of Portugal divided the country in captaincies, which were donated to be explored by private enterpreneurs. The Captaincy of Cear was donated to Antnio Cardoso de Barros, but he didn't even bother to see his lands.

Only in 1603 did the Portuguese send an exploratory mission, commanded by Pero Coelho de Souza, who founded a small fort in the mouth of river Cear, called Fort of So Tiago (which, strange as it may sound, translates as Fort of Saint James); Coelho de Souza, however, could not cope the hostilities of the indians and the ruthness of the long drought period in the first decade of that century.

Fortaleza has a typical tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with high temperatures and high relative humidity throughout the year. However, these conditions are usually relieved by pleasant winds blowing from the ocean. Average temperatures are not much different throughout the year.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Cear (and Fortaleza in particular) found their true avocation: the tourism. Word of mouth about the beautinesses of the State, along with marketing campaigns in Brazilian media turned Fortaleza into one of the most popular destinations in Brazil. Heavy investments, both private and official, improved the infrastructure of tourism (roads, airport, hotels, restaurants, police, etc). The foreigners arrived next, both to invest and to enjoy.

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Since the early 1990s, the successive governments have been recognized as ethical and efficient, improving social and economic indicators. Cear today is a State with excellent perspectives.

At the end of the century, the administration of the city hall and the city underwent diverse structural changes with the opening of several avenues, hospitals, cultural spaces and it became one of the main tourist destinations in the Northeast and in Brazil.