Natal is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Brazilian Northeast.

The history of this city began when the king of Portugal D. João III divided Brazil in different strips. The one corresponding to Rio Grande do Norte was given to João de Barros and Aires da Cunha.

João de Barros was a historian, a geographer, author of several opuses and a high official of the Portuguese crown. Aires da Cunha was a nobleman who stood out for his fights against pirates and corsairs.

Some years later, they decided to carry out an expedition in order to occupy the territory previously donated, along with another beneficiary of some other captaincy. But the colonization was not successful.

The local Indians who were settled in the region were aided by the French, who used to trade the Pernambuco tree, to expel the Portuguese.

62 years later, on December 25 of 1579, a new Portuguese expedition arrived in Natal.

This they accomplished success, with the French being expelled and the captaincy conquered.

A few days after arriving in the city, the Portuguese began to erect their fortress in Barra area. The fortress of Barra of Rio Grande do Norte is commonly known as the Magi. The beginning of its building took place on King’s day and its goals were to be a garrison of protection against the Indian and French attacks.

As time moved on, a settlement constituted itself around the Fortress, known as the Cidade dos Reis and later Cidade do Natal (City of Christmas). The name is due to the date of the arrival and the foundation of the city itself, which, coincidently, happened both on December 25 (in different years).

In 1633 the settlement was invaded by the Dutch and the name of the Fortress and the city itself were altered. However, as the spell of the Dutch ended, the names were restored.

May years later, in 1980, Via Costeira was built and the wide strip sand of 10 km began to be known and visited by tourists.

At the end of the beach of Ponta Negra, commonly known as Natal, is located the Morro do Careca.

It’s a major dune that extends itself for 120 meters and constitutes the city’s symbol.

But the city is much more than beach and sea and the proximity to nature. In addition to the aforementioned Fortress, one should also visit the Farol of Mãe Luzia, the Memorial Câmara Cascudo, Teatro Alberto Maranhão and the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.

I’ve been in Natal 3 times already. I love the weather, the beach, the people and the food. There is a restaurant which I deem as one of the best I have been to and one which will deserve an article. It’s the upcoming one!