is the capital of the province of Ceará in North Eastern Brazil. It’s one of Brazil’s most popular holiday destinations. Because of its proximity to the equator, the sea is always nice and warm.
The city was founded in 1611 by the Portuguese Martim Soares Moreno, who was in love with an Indian girl called Iracema. This was the subject of a famous novel by José de Alencar. There is a statue of Iracema waiting for her love to return from the sea on the Praia do Mucuripe beach.
From 1630 to 1654 the Dutch occupied North Eastern Brazil. In 1649 they built Fort Schoonenborch there. After the land was reclaimed by the Portuguese, the fort was renamed and became Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
In 1823, shortly after Brazil had gained independence, the Brazilian emperor gave Fortaleza town privileges. The name changed to Fortaleza de Nova Bragança.
In this century Fortaleza began to export cotton to the British empire. This strengthened Fortaleza’s economy more and more, resulting in it becoming the capital of Ceará.
How do you get there?
Because Fortaleza is on the North East coast of Brazil, it’s a much shorter flight from Europe. If you’re already in Brazil, you can take a domestic flight or a bus.
De Praça do Ferreira is the most important city square and is surrounded by shops, restaurants and cinemas.
De Praça José de Alencar was named after writer, lawyer and politician José de Alencar, who wrote a novel about the founder of Fortaleza. There is a beautiful amount of green around the square and there are also plenty of street artists to keep you entertained. One of the buildings around the square is the José de Alencar Theater, built in 1908.
You can find the Museum of Art and Popular Culture (Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular) in the Rua Senador Pompeu near the beach. The museum is one big room within the Centro de Turismo which holds culturally relevant art, artefacts and boats.