The village of Natal, named after the Portuguese word for “Christmas” was founded on this day 416 years ago. It is now the capital and largest city of Rio Grande do Norte state, located in north-east Brazil. And it is the closest point to both Africa and Europe.

In the beginning of the 19th century, Natal was still a small village and only in 1922 did the city begin to modernise under the government of Pedro Velho. Its ancient atmosphere was maintained until 1930, when urbanisation started.

The most important industry in Natal nowadays is tourism with people coming from all over. More information at Celebrate Brazil and at About Brazil.

You may also find Natal’s webpage interesting.

natal in natal

Belgian architect Laurent Troost  in collaboration with Brazilian architects Unique have won a competition to redesign Praça Do Natal (Christmas Square) in Natal, Brazil. Source: Dezeen Magazine