Capitals of Brazil

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The current Capital of Brazil (Brasil) is Brasília. The city of Salvador is usually called the "first capital of Brazil" for being more than two centuries the seat for the Portuguese colonial administration in Brazil (general government and viceroyalty).


Salvador was established in 1549 by the first Governor-General of Portuguese South America shortly after colonisation began. The city became the seat of the first Catholic bishopric of Brazil in 1552, and is still the center of Brazilian Catholicism. In the 17th century Rio de Janeiro became a far more practical export port than Salvador, and the colonial administration was moved in 1763. In 1808 the Portuguese royal family and most of the aristocracy in the Portuguese capital Lisbon fled Portugal ahead of Napoleon's invasion. The Portuguese capital was temporarily transferred from Europe to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained the capital after the independence of Brazil in 1822 and after the abolition of the monarchy in 1889.

In the 1950s plans were considered for moving the federal capital from the east coast to the interior; the interior was sparsely populated and it was hoped that moving the capital to the region would help populate the area. The new capital, Brasília, was inaugurated as the federal capital on 21 April 1960 after being purpose built at great cost of 2 trillion U.S. dollars.

National capitals of Brazil[edit]