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Fortaleza seen by Jean-Paul Delfino

fortalezaCapital of the Ceara state, in the northernmost part of Brazil, Fortaleza cannot be summed up in a few words. Multifaceted, surprising, having built its fortune on cotton and been conquered by the Portuguese who defeated the native Potiguaras Indians at the end of the XVIth century, then conquered by the Dutch who in turn were defeated by the Portuguese who were attached to this trading post, Fortaleza could be compared to a young woman with bewitching powers over the wisest.

Although a touristic destination appreciated worldwide, Fortaleza is not only a town renowned for its theme park (Aquiraz beach park), for its night clubs, for its concert halls , for its Arts and Culture centre (the famous Dragao do Mar), not only for its mythic beaches such as those bordering Beira Mar avenue with its craft market, not only for Iracema and the Englishman’s bridge or for do Futuro beach and its tents, a pleasing sight for the tourists and the gapers.

Far from that postcard-like image, Fortaleza will only unveil itself for the initiate. If you wish to get the gist of the city, you have to stroll randomly following your own steps along the narrow streets. Here the Fortaleza lighthouse will be your only landmark among the innumerable roofs. There, the public gardens, planted with a variety of rare trees, will be a delight for the curious and the lovers. A little further along, near Juvenal Galego’s house, a prestigious cultural landmark in the city. And perhaps, if you listen carefully, you will hear the echoes of the fiery contests in eloquence that used to oppose the literary members of the « Club des Poètes » : Antonio Carmelo Porteira (the founder of the Club), but also Mario Gomez, Stenio Freitas or maybe Costa Senna…

According to the time of the year one has chosen to discover Fortaleza, many popular festivals enflame the city. From the Carnival to the Nossa Senhora da Assunçao festival, not to mention the Saint John or the Fortal festival, the city offers a great choice of public rejoicings, always eager to set off throbbing and exhilarating sounds, to make the surdos drums resound and  the maracatus, and the musical roll of the pandeiros tambourines. Fortaleza is all at once José de Alencar’s birth place and the capital of fashion, humour, theatre and cinema – not to mention the liars festival that takes place every 1st of april ! – Fortaleza greets you with open arms. Give her a hug !

Written by : © Jean-Paul Delfino (This text is subject to copyrights protection in accordance with existing laws)

Other texts by Jean-Paul Delfino are available here: Travel Diaries - Jean-Paul Delfino

Jean-Paul Delfino is a French writer and screenwriter so passionate about Brazil that he has taken on the writing of a major novel fresco entitled "Suite brésilienne" which covers three centuries of great Brazilian history.

Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Delfino