Fortaleza, the fifth largest city in Brazil

Fortaleza, Ceara - the fifth largest city in BrazilLocated in the Northeastern area of Brazil, Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in Brazil. It is the future home of the 2014 FIFA world cup. It is also the home to the statue of Iracema, Mucuripe Beach, and the Lighthouse Museum.


Fortaleza was discovered in 1500 by a Spanish explorer, Vicente Pizon. He named the area Santa Maria de la Consolacion.  Unfortunately due to the treaty of Tordesillas, the Spanish were not able to colonize the area. The Portuguese began colonizing the area in 1603. The Dutch tried to take over for awhile but the Portuguese managed to expel them. By 1800 the area was considered an urban center with Fortaleza as its capital. The city has continued to grow throughout the centuries since.


Many different forms of dance have originated in Fortaleza. Bumba-meu-boi or oi Ceara are songs and dances of Portuguese roots that are part of a religious cult to the ox. Tore is a dance originated by the tremembes. Voileiros, emboladores and cantadores are very popular types of music in the North and known for the social criticism. Maracatu is a dance celebrated during the Carnivals of the Baque Virado or Nacao lines. Danca do coco is an Afro-Brazilian dance very popular on the beaches. 

Teatro Jose de Alencar

The theatre was opened in 1910 and has been a cultural cornerstone of the city ever since. It is a theater in art nouveau style. There is a 120-seat auditorium, foyer, stage space open and annex building. The theatre is a two thousand square feet that houses the Center for the Arts Scenic (CENA), the Teatro Morro do Ouro, the square Mestre Pedro Boca Rica, outdoor stage, the Chamber’s Carlos, and the Gallery Cotoco Ramos. You can also study at the cenotécnica workshops, costume and lighting, the College of Dance of Ceará and the College of Theater Director, Office of Sea Dragon, the Chamber Orchestra of Eleazar de Carvalho, and the course Fundamentals of Theater.

Fortaleza’s Cathedral

Fortaleza’s CathedralThe cathedral was completed in 1978 and took over 40 years to complete. It is the third largest church in Brazil. It was built in the Gothic-Roman style and holds 5,000 people. Masses are held every day except Mondays.

Estatua de Iracema

This historic statue was built in 1965 however there is a new statue of Iracema as well. Iracema was the main character of a novel written by Jose de Alencar. She was the wife of one of the first explorers to reach Brazil. Today these statues are a landmark of Fortaleza.

Castelao football stadium

The stadium was built in 1973 and holds over 60,000 people. It is named in honor of the former governor Placido Aderaldo Castelo. It is currently under redevelopment in order to get it ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Mucuripe Beach and Lighthouse Museum

This beach is the beach of the jangadas. It is a popular area for fishing and boat trips. The lighthouse was built by the slaves from 1840 – 1846. It is still one of the oldest buildings in Fortaleza today. It was known as the Eye of the Sea. In 1982 is was turned into a museum.

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