1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Victoria (Brazil)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

VICTORIA, a city and port of Brazil, capital of the state of Espirito Santo, on the W. side of an island at the head of the Bay of Espirito Santo, 270 m. N.E. of Rio de Janeiro, in lat. 20° 18′ S., long. 40° 20′ W. Pop. (1902, estimated) 9000. The city occupies the beach and talus at the base of a high, wooded mountain. The principal streets follow the water-line, rising in terraces from the shore, and are crossed by narrow, steep, roughly paved streets. The buildings are old and of the colonial type. The governor's residence is an old convent, with its church at one side. The entrance to the bay is rather tortuous and difficult, but is sufficiently deep for the largest vessels. It is defended by five small forts. The harbour is not large, but is safe and deep, being completely shut in by hills. A large quay, pier, warehouses, &c., facilitate the handling of cargoes, which were previously transported to and from the anchorage by lighters. Victoria is a port of call for coasting steamers and a shipping port in the coffee trade. The other exports are sugar, rice and mandioca (manioc) to home ports.

Victoria was founded in 1535 by Vasco Fernando Coutinho, on the S. side and nearer the entrance to the bay, and received the name of Espirito Santo. The old site is still occupied, and is known as Villa Velha (Old Town). The name of Victoria was adopted in 1558 in commemoration of a crushing defeat inflicted by Fernando da Sa on the allied tribes of the Aimorés, Tapininguins and Goitacazes in that year. It was attacked (1592) by the freebooter Cavendish, who was repelled by one of the forts at the entrance to the bay.