Past Cities

Angras dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Angra dos Reis is a coastal city in the southern region of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. It has a rich history that spans back to the colonial era of the country. The city is located on a peninsula surrounded by the sea, which has played a crucial role in shaping its history.

The city was founded in 1502 by the Portuguese navigator Gonçalo Coelho, who arrived in the region while exploring the coast of Brazil. The name Angra dos Reis, which means "Bay of Kings," was given to the city by the Portuguese monarchs, who were fascinated by the natural beauty of the bay.

During the colonial era, Angra dos Reis was an important port for the transportation of goods and people between Rio de Janeiro and other cities in the region. The city was also a center of sugar and coffee production, which were the main exports of Brazil at the time.

In the 19th century, Angra dos Reis became a popular destination for wealthy families from Rio de Janeiro, who built summer houses in the city. The city was also an important center for the abolitionist movement in Brazil, which aimed to end slavery in the country.

Angra dos Reis played a crucial role in the political history of Brazil in the 20th century. In 1964, a military coup overthrew the democratically elected government of President João Goulart, and Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship for the next 21 years. Angra dos Reis was used as a base for the military government's secret operations, including the torture and disappearance of political opponents.

During the military dictatorship, the population of Angra dos Reis grew rapidly, as the government promoted the construction of hydroelectric power plants and nuclear facilities in the region. The construction of these facilities had a significant impact on the geography and environment of the city, as large areas of forest were cleared and the natural ecosystem was disrupted.

Today, Angra dos Reis is a thriving city with a population of approximately 200,000 people. The city is known for its natural beauty, including its pristine beaches, lush forests, and crystal-clear waters. The economy of the city is based on tourism, fishing, and agriculture, and it is home to several universities and research centers.

Despite its rich history and natural beauty, Angra dos Reis faces several challenges, including environmental degradation, social inequality, and a lack of basic infrastructure. The city has been affected by several natural disasters in recent years, including floods, landslides, and fires, which have caused significant damage to its infrastructure and economy.

Angra dos Reis is a city with a rich history and a unique geography that has shaped its development over the centuries. From its colonial past to its role in Brazil's political history, the city has been shaped by the people who have lived and worked there. Today, Angra dos Reis faces significant challenges, but it also has a bright future, as its natural beauty and cultural heritage continue to attract visitors from around the world.