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Brazil: Major Cities

Brazil has many large and bustling cities.

Brasília is the chief city of the Central West as well as the national capital. It is considered an outstanding example of modern large-scale city planning. The city is shaped roughly like a giant airplane. The buildings of its central area are bordered by a V-shaped artificial lake.

São Paulo, in the state of São Paulo, is the chief industrial city of Latin America and the largest city in Brazil. This bustling, modern city is the center of the nation's textile industry.

Rio de Janeiro, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, is considered one of the world's most beautiful cities. Its fine harbor, steep mountains, and magnificent modern apartment houses strung along the beaches and wide, tree-lined avenues have made Rio one of the most visited and most often photographed cities in the world.

Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, is Brazil's third largest city and a major commercial and industrial area. Its name means "beautiful horizon" in Portuguese.

Salvador, in the state of Bahia, is one of the chief cities of the Northeast. Forteleza, in the state of Ceará on Brazil's northeastern coast, is a commercial center. Nova Iguaçu, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, is an industrial suburb of Rio de Janeiro city. Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, is a leading city and rivals São Paulo as a center of coffee production. Pôrto Alegre, is one of the leading cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the South. Recife, in the state of Pernambuco on Brazil's eastern coast, has a flourishing port. Belém, in the state of Pará, is one of a few large cities on the Amazon River. Manaus, a free-trade port on the central Amazon, was very important during the 1800's, when the Amazonian forest was the world's leading source of natural rubber. The opera house and mosaic sidewalks of Manaus are reminders of the city's prosperous past.

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    South America (Reading a Political Map): Map Skills - Grades 4-8

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