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Fortaleza (Portuguese for fortress ) is the State capital of Ceará, located in northeastern Brazil. With population of around 2 million, it is considered the second most important city in the region in economics terms, after Salvador in Bahia. Fortaleza has an area of 336 square km. In the North of the city one can locate the Atlantic Ocean, in the south one can finde the cities of Pacatuba, Eusébio, Maracanaú and Itaitinga. To the East it is the county of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean. And to west the city of Caucaia.



Fortaleza's history began when the Dutch constructed the Fort Schoonenborch in 1649. Later, the Portuguese expelled the Dutch and renamed it to Forte de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Around the fort, which even today is in perfect conservation state, a small village grew into the fifth largest city in Brazil today. In 2004 Luizianne Lins was surprisingly elected as mayor.


A complete infrastructure, three thousand hours of sun per year and the constant ocean breeze gives the full dimension of this paradise. For those who have more energy, the nightlife is full of attractions, with bars, restaurants, and shows. Not even on Mondays does Fortaleza cool down. The city is known for having the "wildest Monday nights in the world." The Praia de Iracema (Iracema's beach), one of the first urban nuclei of the city, holds many bars and restaurants. There, the Ponte dos Ingleses (English's Bridge), the old docks, is located and used to watch the sunset and spot dolphins.

Jangadas anchored on the beach
Jangadas anchored on the beach

Warm waters bathe Fortaleza's urbanized beaches, which offer every comfort to the tourist. The scenery is complemented by the jangadas (small and rustic rafts used by many of Ceará's fishermen). From the jangadas come the sea's fruits, responsible for the best Ceará's cuisine. The Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future) is the meeting place for the bathers, concentrating a large number of typical beachside restaurants, with carnauba straw used in its construction. The local population calls them "Barracas de Praia." Thursday nights, the beach becomes the biggest sensation in the capital's nightlife, with live music, forró and a lot of crab to eat.

View of Fortaleza's Praia of Iracema and Beira-Mar.
View of Fortaleza's Praia of Iracema and Beira-Mar.

A few kilometers away from the city are some well-known beaches as Prainha, Iguape and Porto das Dunas. In the latter there are two large water parks.

Cultural features


Fortaleza is the home of numerous landmarks and is a popular tourist destination. Landmarks include:


Fortaleza provides visitors and residents with various sport activities. There are several soccer clubs based in Fortaleza such as Fortaleza EC, Ferroviário AC and Ceará SC.

With string winds the Praia do Futuro is an excellent place for nautical sports. Fortaleza hosts world competitions of surfing and windsurfing.


Capitals of Brazilian States
Aracaju | Belo Horizonte | Belém | Boa Vista | Brasília | Campo Grande | Cuiabá | Curitiba | Florianópolis | Fortaleza | Goiânia | João Pessoa | Macapá | Maceió | Manaus | Natal | Palmas | Porto Alegre | Porto Velho | Recife | Rio Branco | Rio de Janeiro | Salvador | São Paulo | São Luís | Teresina | Vitória
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