Brazil is the largest country in South America and fifth largest in the world.
It was inhabited solely by indigenous people, mainly of the Tupi and Guarani ethnic groups, before settlement began by the Portuguese late in the 16th century.
Despite Portuguese rule, in some parts of Brazil the Dutch founded colonies between 1630 and 1654 and founded several cities, such as Mauritsville (now Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco), and many sugar cane plantations. This eventually led to all-out war between the Portuguese and the Dutch over Brazil. In 1665 the Peace Treaty of The Hague was signed with the Dutch surrendering to the Portuguese (who in compensation, surrendered their Asian colonies to the Dutch).
In 1808, Brazil became the centre of the Portuguese Empire when the King Dom João VI (John VI) fled from Napoleon’s invasion of Portugal and established himself and his government in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The following centuries saw further exploitation of the country’s natural riches such as gold and rubber, alongside the rise of an economy based largely on sugar, coffee and African slave labour. Meanwhile, extermination and Christianizing of natives kept its pace, and in the 19th and 20th centuries a second wave of immigration took place, mainly Italian, German (in southern Brazil), Spanish, Japanese (in São Paulo and Paraná states), American (in São Paulo state), and Portuguese, making Brazilian culture and society complex and unique.
After three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation on September 7th, 1822.
Today, Brazil is famous for its football (soccer) tradition and its annual Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Olinda, it also boasts great cultural and natural diversity. With its stunning beaches and islands, the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and world-class landmarks such as the Iguaçu Falls, there is plenty to see and to do in Brazil.
Brazil Quick Facts:
Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
Language: Portuguese (official); recognized in some States: Talian, Pomeranian, Hunsrik, and German, +180 indigenous languages; English, and Spanish
Religion Roman Catholic 64.6%, Protestant 22.2%, none 8.0% (2010 Census); Candomble and Umbanda are religions with African roots that have survived prejudice and persecution and still have a significant following in Brazil.
Electricity 127V, 60Hz with some cities using 220V,60Hz (North American or European plug)
Country code 55
Internet TLD .br
Time Zone UTC -3 (-2 to -4)
RIO DE JANEIRO
Rio is a modern vibrant and cosmopolitan city where visitors are welcomed by a big statue of Jesus with open arms atop Corcovado Mountain, overlooking the port and city below.
Brazil’s second most populous city, Rio is most known for its sun, sea, surf and samba .. and of course, Carnival.
However, it is also highly regarded as an educational and cultural centre of Brazil with many world-class museums and art galleries to visit.
On the Parana River, the Iguassu Falls acts as a natural border to the countries of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
The setting of the Falls between Brazil and Argentina is in a large expanse of national park, much of it rainforest teeming with unique flora and fauna, and the power and noise of hundreds of waterfalls along 3km of the river is simply awe-inspiring.
No wonder Iguazu Falls is sometimes described as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
|Currency used||Braziliean Real|