1902 Encyclopedia > Victoria, Brazil

Victoria, Brazil

VICTORIA, a city of Brazil, capital of the province of Espirito Santo, 270 miles north-east from Rio de Janeiro, in 20° 18' S. lat. and 40° 20' W. long. Victoria, which has a white, Negro, and coloured population (1880) of 12,500, stands on the west side of an island at the head of the Bay of Espirito Santo, the entrance of which is defended by five forts, and also rendered difficult of access by several other islets and reefs rising little above high-water mark. The town is regularly laid out and well-built, with some good streets, two or three fine churches, a substantial governor's residence, and a few other conspicuous buildings. The surrounding district grows much rice, sugar, and manioc, which with other produce are here shipped, chiefly for the neighbouring coast towns.
Victoria, originally Espirito Santo, is one of the oldest Portuguese settlements on the Brazilian coast, having been founded in 1535 by A'asco Fernando Coutinho at a little distance from its present site, on the south side and nearer to the entrance of the bay. It took the name of Victoria in 1558 to commemorate the crushing defeat inflicted by Fernando de Sa on the allied Indian tribes of the Aimores, Tapininguins, and Goitacazes in that year. The original site is still occupied by a group of houses and buildings commonly known as the Villa Velha or "Old Town," which is separated from Victoria by the Rio Santa Maria flowing to the south-west corner of the bay.

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