Fortaleza
Overview
 
Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

, located in Northeastern Brazil. With a population close to 2.5 million (metropolitan region over 3.4 million), Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil. It has an area of 313 square kilometres (120.8 sq mi) and one of the highest demographic densities in the country (8,001 per km²). To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean; to the south are the municipalities of Pacatuba
Pacatuba, Ceará
Pacatuba, Ceará is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.-References:...

, Eusébio
Eusébio, Ceará
Eusébio is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará, Brazil, located within the metropolitan area of Fortaleza .-External links: of the municipal administration...

, Maracanaú
Maracanaú
Maracanaú is a town located at 03° 52' 37" South 38° 37' 33" West in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Its name comes from Tupi language and means "lagoon where maracanãs drink", because of the presence of these birds flying over the lagoons in the city's area....

 and Itaitinga
Itaitinga
Itaitinga is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.-References:...

; to the east is the municipality of Aquiraz
Aquiraz
Aquiraz is the thirteenth largest city in the state of Ceará, located on the nation's northeast coast, a popular vacation destination.- History :...

 and the Atlantic Ocean; and to the west is the municipality of Caucaia
Caucaia
Caucaia is a Brazilian city in the state of Ceará of about 300,000 inhabitants.Caucaia sits right next to the capital city of Fortaleza and is also home to a state garden park. There is a market in the center of the town with lots of fish, exotic fruits, and souvenirs for the many tourists that go...

.
Encyclopedia
Fortaleza is the state capital of Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

, located in Northeastern Brazil. With a population close to 2.5 million (metropolitan region over 3.4 million), Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil. It has an area of 313 square kilometres (120.8 sq mi) and one of the highest demographic densities in the country (8,001 per km²). To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean; to the south are the municipalities of Pacatuba
Pacatuba, Ceará
Pacatuba, Ceará is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.-References:...

, Eusébio
Eusébio, Ceará
Eusébio is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará, Brazil, located within the metropolitan area of Fortaleza .-External links: of the municipal administration...

, Maracanaú
Maracanaú
Maracanaú is a town located at 03° 52' 37" South 38° 37' 33" West in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Its name comes from Tupi language and means "lagoon where maracanãs drink", because of the presence of these birds flying over the lagoons in the city's area....

 and Itaitinga
Itaitinga
Itaitinga is a town and municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.-References:...

; to the east is the municipality of Aquiraz
Aquiraz
Aquiraz is the thirteenth largest city in the state of Ceará, located on the nation's northeast coast, a popular vacation destination.- History :...

 and the Atlantic Ocean; and to the west is the municipality of Caucaia
Caucaia
Caucaia is a Brazilian city in the state of Ceará of about 300,000 inhabitants.Caucaia sits right next to the capital city of Fortaleza and is also home to a state garden park. There is a market in the center of the town with lots of fish, exotic fruits, and souvenirs for the many tourists that go...

. Residents of the city are known as Fortalezenses. The current mayor is Luizianne Lins
Luizianne Lins
Luizianne de Oliveira Lins is a Brazilian journalist. politician and current mayor of Fortaleza. She is Fortaleza's second female mayor....

 a former academic at the local Federal University of Ceará and well known feminist. The city will be one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, for which Brazil is the host nation.

On Beira-mar Avenue, kiosks and restaurants offer regional seafood
Seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

, Sushi, Brazilian dishes and many more varieties of food; there are also many bars which provide anything from beer to cocktails. At the handcraft fair (the feirinha), many stands show embroidery and leather work, as well as jewelry and regional food or artisinal cachaça
Cachaça
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

. Of the urban beaches in Fortaleza, Praia do Futuro is the most frequented and is characterized by restaurants along the beach, each one with its own musical style and decoration.

The statue of Iracema
Iracema
Iracema is one of the three indigenous novels by José de Alencar. It was first published in 1865.-Plot introduction:The story revolves around the relationship between the Tabajara indigenous woman, Iracema; and the Portuguese colonist, Martim, who was allied with the Tabajara nation's enemies, the...

 refers to the legend of the indigenous woman depicted in a 19th century novel by José de Alencar
José de Alencar
José Martiniano de Alencar was a Brazilian lawyer, politician, orator, novelist and dramatist. He is one of the most famous writers of the first generation of Brazilian Romanticism, writing historical, regionalist and Indianist romances — being the most famous The Guarani...

, a famous Brazilian author born in Messejana (nowadays a district of Fortaleza). Mucuripe Beach holds the Lighthouse Museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

. Opened in 1846, the old lighthouse was active for 111 years, until it was closed in 1957, and replaced by a newer one. Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
The Dragão do Mar Center of Art And Culture is a government funded cultural center in Fortaleza, Ceará in Brazil. The center contains facilities for exhibitions, a theatre, a library, a cinema and a planetarium. The center was inaugurated in April 1999, and has an overall area of 33 000 m²...

 holds the Cearense Culture Memorial, the Contemporary Art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 Museum and Rubens de Azevedo Planetarium
Planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

, as well as movies and theaters. Besides this, many old warehouses were refurbished and became bars and restaurants surrounding the central area of town. There are cuisine and show options in the evening. It is most certainly one of the trendiest places to be seen.

Nightlife includes bars, nightclubs and restaurants, open every day in the week, besides the characteristic comedy shows that have introduced nationally famous artists. An off-season carnival
Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

, Fortal, happens in Fortaleza in July. With a remodeled structure in 2008, the event has parking lots, bleachers, stalls and food court. The event lasts 4 days and around 1.5 million people enjoy the nationally famous axé music
Axé music
Axé is a popular music genre originating in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil approximately in 1986, fusing different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as Marcha, Reggae, and Calypso. It also includes influences of Afro-Brazilian music such as Frevo, Forró and Carixada. The most important creator of this music...

 bands. Fortaleza also stages music festival
Music festival
A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

s in Brazil, such as Ceará Music. This yearly event includes local artists and international pop rock
Pop rock
Pop rock is a music genre which mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its guitar-based rock songs. There are varying definitions of the term, ranging from a slower and mellower form of rock music to a subgenre of pop music...

 stars for 3 days. Around 25 thousand people enjoy the fun and several concerts, electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 tents, and fashion shows.

The Pinto Martins International Airport
Pinto Martins International Airport
Pinto Martins International Airport is the airport serving Fortaleza, Brazil. It is named after Euclides Pinto Martins a Ceará-born aviator, who in 1922 was one of the pioneers of the air-link between New York and Rio de Janeiro....

 connects Fortaleza with major Brazilian cities and also operates international flights. The city is home to the Federal University of Ceará
Universidade Federal do Ceará
Federal University of Ceará is a federal university with campuses in the cities of Fortaleza, Sobral and Barbalha, in the state of Ceará, Brazil...

.

History

Fortaleza's history began on February 2, 1500, when Spaniard Vicente Pinzón
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón was a Spanish navigator, explorer, and conquistador, the youngest of the Pinzón brothers...

 landed in Mucuripe's cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación. Because of the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. Colonisation began when the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 Pero Coelho de Souza constructed the Fortim de São Tiago in the estuary of Ceará River in 1603. Later, the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 occupied the Brazilian Northeast and founded the Fort Schoonenborch. When they were expelled from Ceará, the Portuguese renamed it to Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. In 1726, the town of the fort was raised to the condition of village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

. In 1799, the Province of Ceará was separated from the Province of Pernambuco
Pernambuco
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the...

 and Fortaleza was chosen as its capital.

During the 19th century, Fortaleza was consolidated as an urban center in Ceará, supported by the sprouting of cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 growing. With the increase of direct navigational communications with Europe the Customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 of Fortaleza was created in 1812. In 1824, the city became agitated by the revolutionaries of Confederation of the Equator
Confederation of the Equator
The Confederation of the Equator was a short-lived rebellion that occurred in the northeastern region of Brazil during that nation's struggle for independence from Portugal. The secessionist movement was led by wealthy landowners who opposed early reforms by the nation's first leader, Emperor...

. Between the years of 1846 and 1877, the city went through a period of enrichment, economic and infrastructural improvement. This included the export of cotton and the development of diverse workmanships, such as the creation of the 2 secondary schools, the Ceará and Mucuripe Lighthouse in 1845, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Fortaleza in 1861, Prainha Seminary in 1864, Public Library in 1867 and the Public transportation network in 1870, which began with the construction of Railroad of Baturité. In the decades of 1870 and 1880, was a period referred to as abolitionist and republican. Such movements caused the Emancipation of enslaved African-Brazilians in Ceará on March 25, 1884, four years before slavery was eradicated from the country as a whole. The literary movement "Spiritual Bakery" appeared in 1892 and pioneered the spreading of modern ideas in literature in Brazil. Other entities of the time included the Ceará Institute and Ceara's Academy of Letters established in 1887 and 1894 respectively.
In the twentieth century, Fortaleza underwent significant urban changes, with improvements and the rural exodus to the city, with growth mostly happening towards the end of the decade of 1910, which helped promote the city to the title of seventh best city in population in Brazil. In 1954, the first university in the city was created, the UFC
Universidade Federal do Ceará
Federal University of Ceará is a federal university with campuses in the cities of Fortaleza, Sobral and Barbalha, in the state of Ceará, Brazil...

. Between 1950 and 1960, the city achieved an economic expansion in excess of 100% and outlying neighborhoods began to grow. Towards the end of the 1970s, Fortaleza began to emerge as the future industrial center of the Northeast with the implementation of the Industrial District of Fortaleza. During the political opening after the military regime, the people elected the city's first woman mayor, Maria Luíza Fontenele, and had the first city hall commanded by a left-wing party. 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.

Climate

Fortaleza has a typical tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate
Tropical savanna climate
Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories "Aw" and '"As."...

, 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. December and January are the warmest months, with a high of 31 °C (87.8 °F) and low of 25 °C (77 °F). Rainy season goes from February to May (locally called "winter" due to the rain, not the temperature). with average annual temperature of 27 °C (80.6 °F). The relative humidity in the air in Fortaleza is 77% with average annual rainfall of 1378.3 millimetres (54.3 in).

Generally, Fortaleza is characterized by its hotness. The city is a very hot one, making it appropriate for tanning sessions at the beach. The breeze during hot days is refreshing because wind speed in the city is generally typical of sea-side cities. The wind direction is from the sea towards the land, or from west towards east. This wind direction accompanied by ideal wind speed makes different wind activities like surfing and kite flying ideal activities in Fortaleza.

Fortaleza weather is unique in that there is usually rain during the first six months of the year, or from January to June. Expect that during this period, relative humidity
Relative humidity
Relative humidity is a term used to describe the amount of water vapor in a mixture of air and water vapor. It is defined as the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture, given as a percentage of the saturated vapor pressure under those conditions...

 is high, making Fortaleza climate extremely uncomfortable during several periods of the day. Fortaleza climate is usually very dry like summer during the months of August to December, when it is winter in other parts of the world, especially those in the northern hemisphere.

Vegetation

In Fortaleza there are some remaining areas of mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

, in preserved areas. Some species of fruit tree
Fruit tree
A fruit tree is a tree which bears fruit that is consumed or used by people — all trees that are flowering plants produce fruit, which are the ripened ovaries of flowers containing one or more seeds. In horticultural usage, the term 'fruit tree' is limited to those that provide fruit for...

s are also found in many areas of Fortaleza, specially coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 and mango
Mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

 trees.

Cityscape

Demographics

According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 3,529,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza. The population density was 7587.68 PD/sqkm (in the urban area). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following percentage: 2,163,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (61.30%), 1,194,000 White
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

 people (33.84%), 138,000 Black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

 people (3.91%), 21,000 Asian
Asian Brazilian
An Asian Brazilian is is a Brazilian citizen of full or partial Asian ancestry, who remains culturally connected to Asia, or an Asian-born person permanently residing in Brazil. Brazil received many immigrants from Asia, both from Middle East and East Asia...

 people (0.60%), 9,000 Amerindian
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 people (0.25%).

According to an autosomal DNA genetic study from 2011, both "whites" and "pardos" from Fortaleza have a predominantly degree of European ancestry (>70%), with minor but important African and Native American contributions. Since "whites" and "pardos" make-up the majority of the population of Fortaleza, it follows that European ancestry accounts for most of the heritage of the population, followed by minor African and Native American contributions.

One of the main causes of the city's population growth throughout history was the period of droughts in the hinterland and the consequent escape to the capital city, known as rural exodus
Rural exodus
Rural flight is a term used to describe the migratory patterns of peoples from rural areas into urban areas.In modern times, it often occurs in a region following the industrialization of agriculture when fewer people are needed to bring the same amount of agricultural output to market and related...

, as well as the search for better conditions of job and income. The city's population in the times of Colonial Brazil
Colonial Brazil
In the history of Brazil, Colonial Brazil, officially the Viceroyalty of Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil was elevated to kingdom alongside Portugal as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.During the over 300 years...

 was estimated in 200 inhabitants, when Fortaleza was only an administrative unit, a village. The first discrepant point of the population growth of Fortaleza happened between 1865 and 1872 when the construction of the Railroad of Baturité was initiated. As a result of the demand for labour force, the population of the city swelled along with the economy. In 1877 another period of drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

s made a great amount of homeless people migrate to Fortaleza and its outskirts. Migrations happened again during the droughts of 1888, 1900, 1915, 1932 and 1942. In these three last periods, concentration camps were set up in the hinterland to prevent the arrival of retirantes in the capital, however some surrounding districts like Pirambu and others, most of which with high demographic rates, began having their population grown due to migrations of peasants seduced by the promises of modernity in the greatest city of Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

.

In 1922, Fortaleza reached its first hundred thousand inhabitants with the annexation of the cities of Messejana and Parangaba, now important districts of the city. Parangaba itself had more than 20,000 inhabitants, probably because a railroad station was built there before Fortaleza could have one, which made it receive a great number of retirantes from the dry hinterlands.

During the years of 1964–1985 several changes took place in Fortaleza which made the city a central region for industries. Governor Virgílio Távora (1963–1966) initiated the implantation of Industrial District of Fortaleza (DIF I). One decade later, the city already had about a million inhabitants, Metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

s were created Brazil (1973), making the city one of them. In 1983 DIF I started to integrate the territory of the new city of Maracanaú
Maracanaú
Maracanaú is a town located at 03° 52' 37" South 38° 37' 33" West in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Its name comes from Tupi language and means "lagoon where maracanãs drink", because of the presence of these birds flying over the lagoons in the city's area....

, which, just some years ago, was made again part of the Greater Fortaleza (the city's Metropolitan area).

In the 1980s, Fortaleza exceeded Recife
Recife
Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper...

 in population terms, becoming the second most populous city in Northeastern Brazil, with 1,308,919 inhabitants. Throughout the last decades of the 20th century the city "swelled" increasingly until its population exceeded two million inhabitants (in 2000). With a current population estimated in 2,458,545 inhabitants, Fortaleza is the 5th most populated city in Brazil, after São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Salvador
Salvador, Bahia
Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

, and Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

.

Religion

Religion Percentage Number
Catholic 79.0% 1,691,487
Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

12.58% 269,469
No religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

5.99% 128,190
Kardecist 0.83% 17,780
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

0.64% 13,758
Other religions 0.7% 15,923

Source: IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 2000.

Economy

The Fortaleza's GDP is R$ 28 billion, arising from its diversified commerce and tourism. Downtown Fortaleza, or the Centro, is where most commercial activities happen. Avenida Monsenhor Tabosa, near Iracema Beach, is another commercial district. Among the largest shopping malls are Iguatemi, North Shopping, Aldeota, and Del Paseo.

The manufacturing industry produces footwear, textiles, leather-derived items, and the extraction of minerals enhances the local economy. Presently, Fortaleza offers wide and diversified options of spaces, which allows different kinds of events to be promoted, ranging from small business meetings to national and international congresses and fairs that receive thousands of people. The biggest and best equipped space for events available in the State of Ceará
Ceará
Ceará is one of the 27 states of Brazil, located in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is currently the 8th largest Brazilian State by population and the 17th by area. It is also one of the main touristic destinations in Brazil. The state capital is the city of...

 is the Convention Center in Fortaleza. Besides this one, many hotels, business centers and other establishments also offer adequate spaces for different types of gatherings. TAF Airlines
TAF Linhas Aereas
TAF Linhas Aereas is an airline based in Fortaleza, Brazil. It operates regional passenger and cargo services.- History :The airline was established and started operations in 1971 by pilot Ariston Pessoa de Araujo. It was formerly Taxi Aéreo Fortaleza....

 has its headquarters in Fortaleza.

The GDP for the city was R$ 28,350,622,000 (2008).

The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was R$ 11,461 (2008).

Education

Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 curriculum.

Educational institutions

Higher education in Fortaleza is provided by a significant number of public and private institutions. Fortaleza is home to some of the most important universities and research centres in the northeast region of Brazil.
  • Universidade Federal do Ceará
    Universidade Federal do Ceará
    Federal University of Ceará is a federal university with campuses in the cities of Fortaleza, Sobral and Barbalha, in the state of Ceará, Brazil...

     (UFC), (public, federal, free of charge);
  • Universidade Estadual do Ceará
    Universidade Estadual do Ceará
    The Universidade Estadual do Ceará is the second largest university in theState of Ceará, Brazil. The university has 26 undergraduate academic programs, and severalgraduate-level programs.-Location:...

     (UECE), (public, state-owned, free of charge);
  • Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica do Ceará (CEFET-CE), (public, federal, free of charge);
  • Universidade de Fortaleza (UNIFOR), (main private university);
  • Universidade do Vale do Acaraú (Uva), (private);
  • Universidade Regional do Cariri (URCA);
  • Faculdade Farias Brito (FFB);
  • Faculdade Integrada do Ceará (FIC);
  • Faculdade 7 de Setembro (FA7);
  • Faculdades do Nordeste (FANOR);
  • Faculdade Latino-Americana de Educação (FLATED);
  • Faculdade Ateneu (FATE);
  • Associação Educacional Cearense (AEC);
  • and many others.

Culture

Since the end of the 19th century, the city has been home to various cultural institutions. The Instituto do Ceará (Ceará Institute) was established in 1887, and conducts research in history, geography and anthropology. The Academia Cearense de Letras (Cearense Academy of Letters) was the first institution of the sort in the country, established on August 15, 1894. In 1892, Fortaleza was the site of a cultural movement of literary expression called "Spiritual Bakery". There are many other cultural centers, such as the Banco do Nordeste Cultural Centre and the Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
The Dragão do Mar Center of Art And Culture is a government funded cultural center in Fortaleza, Ceará in Brazil. The center contains facilities for exhibitions, a theatre, a library, a cinema and a planetarium. The center was inaugurated in April 1999, and has an overall area of 33 000 m²...

. The folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 of Fortaleza is rich and diverse, and has roots in a mixture of beliefs originating from white colonisers and native groups. Minor, but also considered important, are Syrian-Lebanese
Arab Brazilian
An Arab Brazilian is a Brazilian citizen born in an Arabic country, or a Brazilian-born person of Arab descent, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Arabic culture.- Immigration to Brazil :...

 and African traditions.

Some of the cultural manifestations are:
  • Bumba-meu-boi or Boi-Ceará: songs and dances of a religious cult to the ox, with Portuguese roots.
  • Torém: dance originated by the tremembés.
  • Violeiros, cantadores and emboladores: musical manifestations expressing social criticism, has typical northeast origins.
  • Maracatu: Dance and music, the Fortaleza maractu is of the Baque Virado or Nação lines and is celebrated during carnivals.
  • Dança do coco: originated by Afro-Brazilians. On the beach it is just for men and in the hinterland it is danced in pairs.

Carnaval/Carnival

Fortaleza Carnival
Carnival
Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

 season is not known to be very attractive, differently from other northeastern cities like Salvador or Recife. Through the streets of Fortaleza, the Carnaval brings the samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

 together with festivities as a celebration of Fortaleza's past and diverse culture. It is particularly notable for its unique style of maracatu known as maracatu cearense.

Throughout the streets of the city during the carnival season, tourists can see dancing and singing, accompanied by processions of brass band
Brass band
A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles that include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands , but are usually more correctly termed military bands, concert...

s. There are also displays and shows placed on open trucks as part of a parade travelling across the city. In areas like Avenida Beira-mar, the residents organize sessions of dancing in the streets.

Landmarks

Fortaleza is the home of numerous landmarks. They include:
  • Teatro José de Alencar;
  • Farol do Mucuripe;
  • Fortaleza's Cathedral;
  • Estátua de Iracema;
  • Forte Nan de Praire Statue;
  • Forte de Nossa Senhora da Assunção;
  • Palácio da Luz
    Palácio da Luz
    Palácio da Luz was the former head office of the government of Ceará state, Brazil. It was built at the end of the 18th century, with the help of indigenous labour, and it was acquired by the Imperial Government in 1814. Nowadays, it houses the Academia Cearense de Letras. It has a library of 15...

    ;
  • Castelão football stadium
    Castelão (Ceará)
    The Estádio Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, also known as the Castelão or Gigante da Boa Vista, is a football stadium that was inaugurated on November 11, 1973 in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, with a maximum capacity of 60,326 people. The stadium is owned by the Ceará state Government, and is the home...

     (to be remodeled for the World Cup 2014).

Cuisine

Brazilian cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 includes feijoada, churrasco, rice and beans. There are some dishes that are typical of the Northeast of Brazil, such as macaxeira, tapioca, carne de sol, but the typical food fo Ceará is Baião-de-dois(one kind rizotto form rice, beans en cheese). The best restaurant
Restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s in Fortaleza in 2005, as ranked by Veja
Veja (magazine)
Veja is a Brazilian weekly newsmagazine published in São Paulo and distributed throughout the country by the media conglomerate Grupo Abril. It is the leading weekly publication in the country, and one of the most influential outlets of the Brazilian press...

magazine, were:
  • Best restaurant in Fortaleza: Boi Preto;
  • Best Regional Food: Colher de Pau;
  • Best Italian restaurant: Pulcinella;
  • Best French restaurant: Lautrec;
  • Best Japanese restaurant: Kingyo;
  • Best Pizza: Vignoli;
  • Best Beef: Murano;
  • Best Fish and Seafood: Alfredo;
  • Best Feijoada: Mucuripe Grill.

Tourism and recreation

The warm climate, warm ocean waters and the sandy beaches attract tourists. In recent years, many of the old hotels have been replaced by European-owned international resorts.
Nightlife is full of festivities with bars, restaurants and shows as the primary attraction.
The city is known for having the "wildest Monday nights in the world". Some of the best bars and clubs are found near Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
Dragão do Mar Center of Art and Culture
The Dragão do Mar Center of Art And Culture is a government funded cultural center in Fortaleza, Ceará in Brazil. The center contains facilities for exhibitions, a theatre, a library, a cinema and a planetarium. The center was inaugurated in April 1999, and has an overall area of 33 000 m²...

. The Praia de Iracema (Iracema's beach), the first urban nuclei of the city and former touristic attraction, is currently known as a prostitution hotspot of the city. It includes the Ponte dos Ingleses (Bridge of the Englishmen) which is an ideal location for watching the sunset
Sunset
Sunset or sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the horizon in the west as a result of Earth's rotation.The time of sunset is defined in astronomy as the moment the trailing edge of the Sun's disk disappears below the horizon in the west...

 and spotting dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

s.

Fortaleza's urban beaches have warm waters. The scenery is complemented by the jangada
Jangada
A Jangada is a traditional fishing boat made of wood used in the northern region of Brazil. Some claim the historical legacy of the jangada dates back to the ancient Greeks and that it was Ulysses' vessel in The Odyssey....

s (small rafts used by many of Ceará's fishermen) for catching seafood for the Ceará cuisine. The Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future) is a popular location with many beachside restaurants, built in the local style using carnauba straw and called "Barracas de Praia" (Beach Huts).

Scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 is possible in the area of Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park
Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park
Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park is a marine protected area in the state of Ceará, Brazil....

, a marine protected area located about 10 nautical mile
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

s from the shoreline of Fortaleza.

Urban beaches in Fortaleza

Fortaleza has about 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) of urban beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

es. From North to South, the urban beaches of Fortaleza are Iracema
Praia de Iracema
Praia de Iracema is a beach and a neighborhood located in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in the state of Ceara. Its name comes from the character Iracema that gives name to a famous novel by the cearense writer José de Alencar....

, Meireles, Mucuripe and Praia do Futuro. Each beach has its own peculiarities. "Iracema" is the bohemian beach, with bars and nightclubs. "Meireles" is where locals and tourists go to stroll, and is also the area with the highest number of hotels in Fortaleza. "Mucuripe" is the place of jangada
Jangada
A Jangada is a traditional fishing boat made of wood used in the northern region of Brazil. Some claim the historical legacy of the jangada dates back to the ancient Greeks and that it was Ulysses' vessel in The Odyssey....

s. Still used by fishermen to go into high seas, jangadas can be seen along the way during the afternoon and evenings, and returning from the sea in the morning; part of the catch of the day is sold in an old style fish market. Also, the boat trips leave from this area. "Praia do Futuro" is about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long, and is the preferred one for bathing and surfing. Praia do Futuro was made famous by its barracas (rustic restaurants built on the beach sand).

International Airport

The passenger terminal at Fortaleza International Airport
Pinto Martins International Airport
Pinto Martins International Airport is the airport serving Fortaleza, Brazil. It is named after Euclides Pinto Martins a Ceará-born aviator, who in 1922 was one of the pioneers of the air-link between New York and Rio de Janeiro....

 is totally air conditioned and has four levels. The basement level has parking for 1,000 cars along with automatic teller machines and a stop for regular city buses serving the airport. The ground level has 31 check-in counters, airline offices, car rental agencies, special tourist information, a juvenile court bureau to facilitate travel of minors, a Civil Aviation Department (DAC) office, information counter, passenger arrival area and access to two taxi stops. The second level contains shops, the food court and domestic and international boarding lounges. The top floor has a beer garden and panoramic deck overlooking the maneuvering apron and with a view of the Fortaleza skyline.

The apron has 152,857 square meters and can accommodate 14 aircraft at once in pre-established positions ("boxes"). The scheduled airlines operating out of Fortaleza are Cabo Verde Airlines (code-sharing with TAP Portugal), TAM
TAM
-Finance:* Total addressable market, a financial term used to reference the revenue opportunity available for a product or service- Military :* TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar , an airline in Bolivia...

, Varig
Varig
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

, Gol, Azul Airlines, Webjet, Air Italy, Livingston, OceanAir, TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal, commonly known as TAP, is the national airline of Portugal. It has its head office in Building 25 on the grounds of Portela Airport in Lisbon, and has been a member of the Star Alliance since 14 March 2005, the same day on which the company celebrated its 60th anniversary...

 and Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

. The airport also frequently receives domestic and international charter flights. The passenger terminal, opened in 1998, was designed to have a useful life of 50 years. The former terminal, called the General Aviation Terminal, is now used for general aviation and the fire brigade. The control tower is located alongside. Construction of a cargo terminal is the next big step planned by Infraero
Infraero
Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, Infraero in short, is a Brazilian government corporation created in 1972 and responsible for operating the main Brazilian commercial airports. In 2009, Infraero's airports carried 128,135,616 passengers and 1,114,754 tons of cargo and operated...

. The new terminal will have roughly 8,000 square meters, boosting the cargo storage and handling capacity fourfold. Plans then call for this terminal to be integrated with highway and railroad links, making it a truly intermodal system.

Roads

Fortaleza's road traffic is becoming increasingly worse in the recent years. Traffic jams have become standard during the rush hours. The system of traffic monitoring is known by the acronym CTAFOR which stands for (Traffic Control of the Fortaleza Area). Streets in Fortaleza have poor pavement in most areas. One should drive carefully in order to avoid Fortaleza's many potholes. Many serious accidents have happened due to very poor state of the main streets.

Distances

  • Natal
    Natal, Rio Grande do Norte
    -History:The northeastern tip of South America, Cabo São Roque, to the north of Natal and the closest point to Europe from Latin America, was first visited by European navigators in 1501, in the 1501–1502 Portuguese expedition led by Amerigo Vespucci, who named the spot after the saint of the day...

    : 533 kilometres (331.2 mi);
  • Teresina
    Teresina
    Teresina is the capital and most populous municipality in the Brazilian state of Piauí. It is located in North-central Piauí 366 km from the coast.It is therefore, the only capital in the Northeast that is not located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. With 814 439 inhabitants, it is the 19th...

    : 634 kilometres (394 mi);
  • João Pessoa
    João Pessoa
    João Pessoa , is the capital city of the state of Paraíba, was founded in 1585 and sometimes called the city where the sun rises first, is a Brazilian city and the easternmost city in the Americas at 34º47'38"W, 7º9'28"S. Local residents call its easternmost point Ponta do Seixas. It is also...

    : 688 kilometres (427.5 mi);
  • Recife
    Recife
    Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper...

    : 799 kilometres (496.5 mi);
  • São Luís
    São Luís, Maranhão
    São Luís is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Maranhão. The city is located on Ilha de São Luís in the Baía de São Marcos , an extension of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the estuary of Pindaré, Mearim, Itapecuru and other rivers. Its coordinates are 2.53° south, 44.30° west...

    : 1070 kilometres (664.9 mi);
  • Salvador
    Salvador, Bahia
    Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

    : 1403 kilometres (871.8 mi);
  • Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

    : 2838 kilometres (1,763.5 mi);
  • São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

    : 3144 kilometres (1,953.6 mi);
  • Brasília
    Brasília
    Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

    : 2200 kilometres (1,367 mi).

Urban Train

The city's railroad system is part of the Brazilian Company of Urban Trains (CBTU) and links Fortaleza to three other cities. It is used mainly by people from distant metropolitan areas (e.g., Maracanaú), since it is rather old and poorly maintained, and does not meet the demands of inner city commuters. Therefore, a new underground system known as MetroFor has been engineered by the state government, which is expected to begin operation in 2012.

Port

The Fortaleza harbor is an artificial port located in the Mucuripe inlet. The quay is 1054 metres (3,458 ft) wide. It contains an exclusive-mooring platform for oil-producing. Its warehouse area is 6000 square metres (64,583.5 sq ft) wide and offers more than 100000 square metres (1,076,391 sq ft) for container placing. It also contains two wheat mills and is interconnected to the railway system by an extensive maneuver area.

Neighborhoods

  • Aerolândia
  • Aeroporto
  • Alagadiço
  • Alagadiço Novo
  • Aldeota
  • Alto da Balança
  • Álvaro Weyne
  • Amadeu Furtado
  • Ancuri
  • Antônio Bezerra
  • Autran Nunes
  • Barra do Ceará
  • Barroso
  • Bela Vista
  • Benfica
  • Bom Futuro
  • Bom Jardim
  • Bom Sucesso
  • Cais do Porto
  • Cajazeiras
  • Cambeba
  • Canindezinho
  • Carlito Pamplona
  • Castelão
  • Centro
  • Cidade 2000
  • Cidade dos Funcionários
  • Coaçu
  • Cocó
  • Conjunto Ceará
  • Conjunto Cearazinho
  • Conjunto Esperança
  • Conjunto Palmeiras
  • Couto Fernandes
  • Cristo Redentor
  • Curió
  • Damas
  • Demócrito Rocha
  • Dendê
  • Dionísio Torres
  • Dias Macedo
  • Dom Lustosa
    Dom Lustosa
    Dom Lustosa is a popular neighborhood in the western zone of Fortaleza – CE, in the Northeast Region of Brazil, which is part of the Regional Executive Office III.-Limits:...

  • Dunas
  • Édson Queiroz
  • Eng Luciano Cavalcante
  • Farias Brito
  • Fátima
  • Floresta
  • Genibaú
  • Granja Lisboa
  • Granja Portugal
  • Guajeru
  • Guararapes
  • Henrique Jorge
  • Itaoca
  • Itaperi
  • Jacarecanga
  • Jangurussu
  • Jardim América
  • Jardim Cearense
  • Jardim das Oliveiras
  • Jardim Guanabara
  • Jardim Iracema
  • João XXIII
  • Joaquim Távora
  • Jóquei Clube
  • José Bonifácio
  • Lagoa Redonda
  • Manuel Sátiro
  • Maraponga
  • Mata Galinha
  • Meireles
  • Messejana
  • Mondubim
  • Monte Castelo
  • Montese
  • Moura Brasil
  • Mucuripe
  • Padre Andrade
  • Panamericano (Fortaleza)
  • Papicu
  • Parangaba
    Parangaba
    Parangaba is a neighborhood of Fortaleza in Ceará, Brazil. Was an independent city , but Fortaleza developed, expanded and Parangaba has become to a part of the city. There is a lake with its name and since 1993 a big famous free air store....

  • Parque Araxá
  • Parque Dois Irmãos
  • Parque Iracema
  • Parque Manibaú
  • Parquelândia
  • Parreão
  • Passaré
  • Paupina
  • Pedras
  • Pici
  • Pirambu
  • Praia de Iracema
    Praia de Iracema
    Praia de Iracema is a beach and a neighborhood located in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in the state of Ceara. Its name comes from the character Iracema that gives name to a famous novel by the cearense writer José de Alencar....

  • Praia do Futuro
  • Prefeito José Válter
  • Presidente Kennedy
  • Presidente Vargas
  • Quintino Cunha
  • Rodolfo Teófilo
  • Sabiaguaba
  • Salinas
  • Santa Rosa
  • São Gerardo
  • São João do Tauapé
  • São José
  • Sapiranga
  • Serrinha
  • Siqueira
  • Varjota
  • Vicente Pinzón
  • Vila Elery
  • Vila Pery
  • Vila União
  • Vila Velha

Sports

The most popular sport in Fortaleza, like the rest of Brazil, is football (soccer). The main games of the Ceará State Championship are played in Fortaleza. There are several association football (soccer) clubs in Fortaleza. The most important ones are Ceará SC
Ceará Sporting Club
Ceará Sporting Club, or Ceará as they are usually called, is a Brazilian football team from Fortaleza in Ceará, founded on June 2, 1914....

, Fortaleza EC
Fortaleza Esporte Clube
Fortaleza Esporte Clube, usually known as Fortaleza, is primarily a football club, but is active in other sports such as futsal, handball and basketball. Fortaleza Esporte Clube is based in Fortaleza, capital of the State of Ceará, Brazil...

 and Ferroviário AC
Ferroviário Atlético Clube
Ferroviário Atlético Clube, or Ferroviário as they are usually called, is a Brazilian football team from Fortaleza in Ceará, founded on May 9, 1933...

. Ceará was promoted to the Brazilian Série A in 2010, meanwhile Fortaleza was relegated to the Brazilian Série C, while Ferroviário plays no national league this season. Fortaleza is one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, for which Brazil is the host nation.

Beside Soccer, Fortaleza is also home to nautical sports. Strong winds make Praia do Futuro beach an excellent place for this kind of practice. Fortaleza commonly hosts world competitions of surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

, windsurfing
Windsurfing
Windsurfing or sailboarding is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually two to four metres long, powered by the orthogonal effect of the wind on a sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and comprises a...

 and kitesurfing
Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a...

. Additionally, Fortaleza is a natural brewer of high-level athletes in combat sports, as evidenced by several Fortalezans' recent success in mixed martial arts. Only a 30 minutes drive from Fortaleza there is the center of kitesurfing, Cumbuco
Cumbuco
Cumbuco is a small fishing village situated about North West from the city of Fortaleza, in the state of Ceara, along the north east coast of Brazil. The population is around 1600. The village is regarded as picturesque and scenic and is attracting both domestic and international tourism...

. Great wind from June till February.

Notable people

  • José de Alencar
    José de Alencar
    José Martiniano de Alencar was a Brazilian lawyer, politician, orator, novelist and dramatist. He is one of the most famous writers of the first generation of Brazilian Romanticism, writing historical, regionalist and Indianist romances — being the most famous The Guarani...

    , famous Brazilian writer from the 19th century
  • Alberto Nepomuceno
    Alberto Nepomuceno
    Alberto Nepomuceno was a Brazilian composer and conductorAlberto Nepomuceno was born in city of Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil. He was the son of Vitor Augusto Nepomuceno and Maria Virginia de Oliveira Paiva...

    , famous Brazilian composer from the 19th century
  • Rachel de Queiroz
    Rachel de Queiroz
    Rachel de Queiroz was a Brazilian author and journalist....

    , first female writer in Academia Brasileira de Letras
    Academia Brasileira de Letras
    Academia Brasileira de Letras is a Brazilian literary non-profit society established at the end of the 19th century by a group of 40 writers and poets inspired by the Académie Française. The first president, Machado de Assis, declared its foundation on December 15, 1896, with the statutes being...

  • André Diamant
    André Diamant
    André Diamant is a Brazilian chess Grandmaster. He won the Brazilian Chess Championship in 2008 and 2009.Diamant is of Jewish origin and represents the club A Hebraica . His peak Elo rating was 2526....

    , international chess grandmaster
  • Casimiro Montenegro Filho
    Casimiro Montenegro Filho
    Casimiro Montenegro Filho was a Brazilian army and air force officer. He reached the rank of Marechal-do-ar, the highest rank of the Brazilian Air Force rank system....

    , founder of ITA
  • Maurício Peixoto
    Maurício Peixoto
    Maurício Matos Peixoto, born on April 15 of 1921, in Fortaleza, Ceará, is a Brazilian engineer who pursued a bright career as a mathematician. He pioneered the studies on structural stability, and is the author of Peixoto's theorem....

    , mathematician, one of the founders of IMPA
  • Gilberto Camara
    Gilberto Camara
    Gilberto Câmara is Director of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research for the period 2006 to 2013. Previously, he was head of INPE’s Image Processing Division from 1991 to 1996 and Director for Earth Observation from 2001 to 2005....

    , current director of INPE
    National Institute for Space Research
    The National Institute for Space Research is a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, whose main goals are fostering scientific research and technological applications and qualifying personnel in the fields of space and atmospheric sciences, space engineering, and space...

  • Hélder Câmara
    Hélder Câmara
    Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara was Roman Catholic Archbishop of Olinda and Recife.He was known as the 'Bishop of Corum' and took a clear position with the urban poor....

    , Roman Catholic Archbishop nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Karim Aïnouz
    Karim Aïnouz
    Karim Aïnouz is a film director.-Filmography:* 2006 - O Céu de Suely , 35mm, color, 88 min.* 2002 - Madame Satã, 35mm, color, 105 min....

    , film director
  • Ed Lincoln
    Ed Lincoln
    Ed Lincoln, born Eduardo Lincoln Barbosa de Sabóia, is a Brazilian musician, composer and arranger known for a wide variety of styles. As a bassist, he was present at the earliest moments of bossa nova and as a Hammond organ player, he was foundational in establishing the sound of Brazilian jazz...

    , musician and composer
  • Mário Jardel
    Mário Jardel
    Mário Jardel de Almeida Ribeiro is a former Brazilian professional footballer.Jardel was most noted for his positioning on the field and "being at the right place, at the right time"...

    , professional footballer
  • Shelda Bede
    Shelda Bede
    Shelda Kelly Bruno Bede is a beach volleyball player from Brazil who won silver medals in beach volleyball at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.-References:*...

    , beach volleyball player and olympic medalist
  • Marcus Aurelio
    Marcus Aurelio
    Marcus Aurélio Martins is a Brazilian mixed martial artist. He formerly fought for the PRIDE Fighting Championship and for the Ultimate Fighting Championship...

    , mixed martial arts professional
  • Wilson Gouveia
    Wilson Gouveia
    Wilson Gouveia is a Brazilian mixed martial artist.At and , Gouveia fights as a light heavyweight in the Maximum Fighting Championships organization after a stint as a middleweight in the UFC. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a member of American Top Team...

    , mixed martial arts professional
  • Thiago Alves
    Thiago Alves
    Thiago Alves d'Araujo is a Brazilian mixed martial artist. He started training in Muay Thai when he was 15 and mixed martial arts at 17. He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has been described as a "Muay Thai wrecking machine". As of July 2011, He is currently ranked the #10 welterweight...

    , mixed martial arts professional
  • Hermes Franca
    Hermes Franca
    Hermes França Barros is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competes as a lightweight.-Early career:França made his professional MMA debut in November 2001. He quickly earned an undefeated streak of 6-0, drawing the attention of the UFC.-First UFC run:...

    , mixed martial arts professional
  • Jorge Gurgel
    Jorge Gurgel
    Jorge Valente Gurgel is a Brazilian-American Mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who currently competes in Strikeforce's lightweight division.- Early life :...

    , mixed martial arts professional
  • Castelo Branco, former military dictator of Brazil (1964-1967)

Social problems

Main article: Crime in Brazil
Crime in Brazil
Crime in Brazil involves an elevated incidence of violent and non-violent crimes. According to most sources, Brazil possesses high rates of violent crimes, such as murders and robberies; the homicide rate has been steadily declining, but it is still above 20.0 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants,...

 and Social issues in Brazil
Social issues in Brazil
Brazil ranks 49.3 in the Gini coefficient index, with the richest 10% of Brazilians receiving 42.7% of the nation's income, while the poorest 10% receive less than 1.2%.-Poverty:...



Fortaleza is one of the least violent cities in Brazil. It is far less violent than other major Brazilian cities like Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 and São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

. Shootouts between police and criminals - as those seen in Rio de Janeiro - are very rare in Fortaleza. Organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 is virtually nonexistent, except for a few small gangs with very little power. There are no "forbidden zones" controlled by gangs like in Rio, where police can not enter. Crime in Fortaleza boils down to isolated robbery and homicides. Violence is higher in some peripheric neighborhoods such as Pirambu and Bom Jardim. Tourists are recommended not to wear any kind of expensive materials (watches, etc.) if visiting some of those neighborhoods, which, after all, are not considered places of interest, and are not normally visited by tourists.

In November 2007, the Police department of the state of Ceara introduced the program "Ronda do Quarteirão
Ronda do Quarteirão
Ronda do Quarteirão is a public safety program implemented in the Brazilian state of Ceara in 2007 in five pilot areas, and then expanded. On February 22, 2008 it was expanded from 76 to 91 areas, covering all districts of Fortaleza...

", a new police division that uses modern Hilux SW4
Toyota Fortuner
The Toyota Fortuner, also known as the Toyota SW4, is a medium-sized SUV based on the Toyota Hilux. Originally assembled only in Thailand, but later also in Indonesia and other countries, the Fortuner is built on the well-established platform of the Toyota Hilux pickup truck. It features three...

 SUV's to patrol the streets and prevent the occurrence of crimes.

About one-eighth of the inhabitants of the city live in slums, the so-called favelas.

Sister cities

Fortaleza's sister cities
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 are:
Caracas
Caracas
Caracas , officially Santiago de León de Caracas, is the capital and largest city of Venezuela; natives or residents are known as Caraquenians in English . It is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

', United States Montese
Montese
Montese is a town in the province of Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.During World War II, the town was liberated by Brazilian forces on April 17, 1945, after three days of battle against German forces....

, Italy Natal
Natal, Rio Grande do Norte
-History:The northeastern tip of South America, Cabo São Roque, to the north of Natal and the closest point to Europe from Latin America, was first visited by European navigators in 1501, in the 1501–1502 Portuguese expedition led by Amerigo Vespucci, who named the spot after the saint of the day...

, Brazil
Praia
Praia
Praia , is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal. It lies on the southern coast of Santiago island in the Sotavento Islands group. It is the island's ferry port and is home to one of the nation’s four international airports...

, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

, United States Saint-Louis
Saint-Louis, Senegal
Saint-Louis, or Ndar as it is called in Wolof, is the capital of Senegal's Saint-Louis Region. Located in the northwest of Senegal, near the mouth of the Senegal River, and 320 km north of Senegal's capital city Dakar, it has a population officially estimated at 176,000 in 2005. Saint-Louis...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...


Official websites

Fortaleza City Hall home page Fortaleza City Council home page Fortaleza Tourism Office home page Fortaleza Metro Underground home page

Travel guides

Fortaleza Travel Guide
Fortaleza Travel Guide

Photo galleries

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