Porto Alegre, Brazil

Important commercial port, city, and capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, 175 mi NE of Rio Grande. Founded in 1742 by a group of Portuguese from the Azores, it became the capital of the state in 1807. It developed as an important commercial and trading port in the 19th century and began to industrialize after World War I. There are many buildings and streets that date from its colonial era.