São Paulo, Brazil

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Located 55 km from the Atlantic coast on the Tietê River, São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and the economic and industrial powerhouse of the nation. The city has developed into a cosmopolitan melting pot of nationalities and cultures in recent years and is estimated to be the third largest Italian city in the world, the largest Japanese city outside Japan, the third largest Lebanese city outside Lebanon, the largest Portuguese city outside Portugal and the largest Spanish city outside Spain.


The city was founded in 1554 by Jesuit priests José de Anchieta and Manoel de Nóbrega, who set up a mission by the Rio Tietê to convert the indigenous population, Tupi-Guarani. The town settlement attracted traders and adventurers looking for mineral wealth further inland. It became the seat of regional government in 1681.

Until the 1870s São Paulo was known as cidade de barro(mud city) as most of its buildings were built from clay and packed mud. The city grew slowly until...

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