São Luís, Maranhão

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São Luís' is the capital of Maranhão, Brazil. The city is situated in an island at the delta of Pindaré and Itapicuru rivers, in a bay just off the Atlantic Ocean. In 1996 it had a population of some 780,800 people.

The city is a sea port, with industries including textile factories and sugar refining. São Luís is home of the Federal University of Maranhão.

The city celebrates the Bumba-meu-boi festival each June.


It was the great village of the Tupinambás indians. It was discovered by the French in 1612, who intended to make it a French colony. The city was named in honor of King Louis XIII of France. In It was invaded by the Netherlands and then conquered for the Portugal in 1648. It was the only capital in Brazil that was not established by Portuguese, but later it became the Portuguese capital of Brazil.

Starting in 1989 there has been an extensive program to restore and renevate the colonial era buildings of the city's old center.