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Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil; Brazilian Portuguese: [bɾaˈziw]), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world; as well as the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other countries in South America except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.

Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808 when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Brazil is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. It is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, and eighth by PPP measures. It is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.

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Gilberto pictured in 2007

Gilberto Aparecido da Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒiwˈbɛʁtu ˈsiwvɐ] (About this soundlisten); born 7 October 1976) is a Brazilian former professional footballer.

Born and raised in poverty in the Brazilian municipality of Lagoa da Prata, Gilberto joined the youth academy at local club América Mineiro, where he made his senior debut as a centre-back in 1998. After starring the following season, where he helped gain the club promotion into the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, he joined city rivals Atlético Mineiro. During his time at Atlético, Gilberto transitioned into a defensive midfielder under head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, and flourished in his new role, gaining a call-up to the Brazilian national team for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he featured prominently as his country won the tournament. Read more...

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The Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo (Portuguese: Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, abbreviated MZUSP) is a public natural history museum located in the historic Ipiranga district of São Paulo, Brazil. The MZUSP is an educational and research institution that is part of the University of São Paulo. The museum began at the end of the 19th century as part of the Museu Paulista; in 1941, it moved into a dedicated building. In 1969 the museum became a part of the University of São Paulo, receiving its current name.

The MZUSP has one of the largest natural-history collections in Latin America, with over 8.5 million preserved specimens of vertebrates (amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and reptiles) and invertebrates (cnidarians, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, myriapods, annelids, mollusks and other marine groups). Each collection is curated independently, and organized according to specific needs. Other facilities in the museum include a library specializing in zoology and laboratories dedicated to research in chronobiology, electron microscopy, molecular biology, histology and CT scans. MZUSP also operates the Boracéia Biological Station in the forest near Salesópolis for field research. Read more...
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Credit: Agência Brasil

Zumbi also known as Zumbi dos Palmares (1655 - November 20, 1695, pronounced: 'zoombee') was the last of the leaders of the Quilombo dos Palmares, in the present-day state of Alagoas, Brazil.

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Marlene Dietrich in Morocco trailer
Credit: Thirdship
Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil they throw flowers at you. In Argentina they throw themselves.

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The Brazilian monitor Piauí was the fourth ship of the Pará-class river monitors built for the Brazilian Navy during the Paraguayan War in the late 1860s. Piauí passed the fortifications at Humaitá in July 1868 and provided fire support for the army for the rest of the war. The ship was assigned to the Mato Grosso Flotilla after the war. Piauí was scrapped in 1893. Read more...

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Francisco Xavier de Mendonça Furtado, Governor of Grão Pará. 18th century painting. Artist unknown.
Francisco Xavier de Mendonça Furtado (1701–1769) served in Portugal's armed services rising in rank from soldier to sea-captain, then became a colonial governor in Brazil and finally a secretary of state in the Portuguese government. His major achievements included the extension of Portugal's colonial settlement in South America westward along the Amazon basin and the carrying out of economic and social reforms according to policies established in Lisbon. Read more...

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Sarah Kalley
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Torres coast
Credit: Tetraktys

Torres is a city located on the south shore of Brazil in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is 197 kilometers away from Porto Alegre, the state capital. The municipality's name was inspired by the three basalt towers that fall into the sea, giving a singular characteristic to the beach. On March 21, 1878, by provincial law, Torres became a municipality.

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