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Porto Alegre

Should not be mistaken by Portalegre, which is in the Alentejo region, Portugal.

Porto Alegre, one of the largest cities in southern Brazil, is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state. The city is located at the conjunction of five rivers, among them the Guaíba, which is actually a lake, as recently claimed by geographers.

Though its origins date from the early 1700s, it was officially established in 1809. Porto Alegre's population numbers over 1.3 million (2002).

Porto Alegre is a major industrial center of southern Brazil, and a key city for Mercosul. It also is a center for gaúcho (the name for natives of Rio Grande do Sul) history and culture; famous for its churrasco (grilled meat). Several important Brazilian universities are located there.

More information is available (in Portuguese) at [[1].

Porto Alegre has recently been a convergence point for the Anti-Globalization movement, with the World Social Forum gathering more than 100 thousand people in the city.