History of Fortaleza

Fortaleza was once part of the province of Pernambuco. It was only in 1799 that the Province of Ceara was separated and during this time, the city of Fortaleza was declared as the state’s capital.

Fortaleza’s history though dates back to the 1500s. It was a Spanish explorer in the name of Vicente Pinzon who discovered the place. He named the area Santa Maria de la Consolación, but this never became official because of the Treaty of Tordesillas. Years after different colonizers would attempt to claim the area.

It was Portuguese Pero Coelho de Souza who started this colonization in 1603. The building of Fort de São Tiago near the Ceara River was one of the contributions he made during his stay. Some years later the Dutch built the Fort Schoonenborch on the Northern part of Brazil. But it was renamed as Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assunção by the Portuguese when the Dutch were expelled. This fort was later developed into a village in 1726. Years after the two provinces of Ceara and Pernambuco would be separated and the city of Fortaleza was known.

It would be the cotton industry that flourished in the city that would put them on the map. The city went through great economic advances during from 1846 to 1877 that included exportation of cotton, the establishment of secondary schools and a Public Library, and construction of a railroad.

It was in the 1970s that the Industrial District of the city was established. Now the city is one of the top tourist attractions in the Northern part of Brazil.