Destination Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará.
Episode 2: Not Porto Seguro, but Mucuripe in Fortaleza appear to be the cradle of Brazil.
Almost every Brazilian, who has completed primary school knows very well that Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, on 22 April 1500. He first saw the peak of a mountain, which he baptized Monte Pascoal. The discovery site was called Terra de Santa Cruz, now better known as Porto Seguro. Cabral claimed the mainland on behalf of the Portuguese Crown. In 2000, Brazil celebrated the fifth century of this important discovery.
Columbus and Tordesilhas
In 1492, America was discovered by the Italian explorer Cristovão Colombo (Cristopher Columbus in English) during a Spanish expedition. It is assumed that the day of discovery was on 12 October. The Day of the America’s is celebrated on 12 October. His discovery had an immense impact upon the world vision at that time. Not only that a new continent was discovered, but also the division of the colonial world between Spain and Portugal, as a result of the Treaty of Tordesilhas in 1494. Roughly, the area east of what is now the city of Belém became Portuguese, and west of it became Spanish. During the third voyage of Colombo, the Southern American mainland near Trinidad and Venezuela was already explored.
Vincente Yáñez Pinzón was commander of the vessel ‘Nina’ during the first voyage of Colombo in 1492. His vessel rescued the drowning drew of the ‘Santa Maria’, when it shipwrecked near Santo Domingo. Four years later, he sailed with four caravels to the Southern American continent and became the first European to cross the Equator near the American continent. On 26 January 1500 Pinzón landed in Ponta do Mucuripe (near Fortaleza), although some investigators are convinced that he set foot in Cabo do Santo Agostinho, in the state of Pernambuco. Pinzón named the location Santa Maria de Consolación.
Pinzón claimed the newly discovered land on behalf of the Spanish Crown, but this claim was never registered officially, as a result of the Treaty of Tordesilhas. As mentioned before, the Southern American continent was split up according this treaty. The area east of Belém was assigned to Portugal, and the announcement of the Spanish claim could have resulted in a serious conflict between Spain and Portugal. Therefore, Spain had remained silent about the claim, and Cabral became the official discoverer of Brazil, three months later.
Portuguese and Dutch
The first settlements in the close region of Fortaleza date back from 1603, with the arrival of Portugese Pero Coelho de Sousa. He started the construction of fortress Fortim de São Tiago and named the settlement Nova Lisboa. About ten years later, another fortress was constructed, Fortim de São Sebastião. In 1637, the Dutch conquered the fortress and they constructed, under the responsibility of Mathias Beck, their fortress, Fort Schoonenborch, in 1649. Fortaleza (fortress in English) is named after the fortress. In 1654, the Dutch were expelled, the fortress was renamed into Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora de Assunção. Op 13 april 1726, Fortaleza became a vila: this date is considered as the foundation day of the city. . In 1799, Fortaleza became the capital of the new Capitania Ceará. At present, Fortaleza is the fourth largest city in Brazil, with more than 2.5 million inhabitants.
Fort Schoonenborch, constructed by the Dutch in 1649
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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