Natal, Rio Grande do Norte

Natal on the map of Brazil

Natal is the capital of the State of Rio Grande do Norte in northeastern Brazil. It has around 804,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area Região Metropolitana de Natal, consisting of Ceará Mirim, Extremoz, São Gonçalo do Amarante, Macaíba, Parnamirim, São José de Mipibu and Nísia Floresta, has over 1.3 million inhabitants.


Natal is on the Atlantic Ocean with coordinates 5 ° 46 ' South and 35 ° 12' West, at the mouth of the river Potengi. The city is situated 550 km south-east of Fortaleza, 180 km north of João Pessoa and 290 kilometers north of Recife. The city covers an area of ​​167,273 km ².



French pirates under Jacques Riffault traded with the Tupi people of the Potiguar in the area of ​​Natal. 1597 ordered the governor Francisco de Sousa, the expulsion of the buccaneers. Was successfully carried out this company by Manuel de Mascarenhas Homem and Jerônimo de Albuquerque Maranhão, of the construction of the Forte dos Reis Magos began on January 6, 1598. The town was founded by the Portuguese colonial rulers on December 25, 1599 it was built around the still existing fort. Natal means Christmas in Portuguese, hence the name. Dutch The Dutch West India Company occupied the city 1633-1654 and called it New Amsterdam. Indigenous Resistance against slavery in the late 17th and early 18th century, manifested in the Confederação dos Cariri and was only put down by the Bandeirantes. The city grew very slowly in the first year of its existence. At the end of the 19th century, however, Natal had more than 16,000 inhabitants. Due to the strategic location of Natal (a suburb of Natal) was built in an American Air Force Base during World War 2 in Panamirim. Among other things, this base in 1942 for Operation Torch served as a way station of the U.S. Air Force on their way to North Africa.


In 2010, the population of the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística ( IBGE ) was specified with 803 739 inhabitants. 377 947 men and 425 792 women. For 2013, the IBGE estimates, the population of 853 928 inhabitants. In Greater Natal ( Grande Natal) live according to recent estimates (2013 ) 1454264 people.


Present Mayor of Natal is Carlos Edurado Alves ( PDT). He was on 31 December 2012 on the second ballot with 58.3 % of the valid votes gewählt.Das city council ( Câmara Municipal) comprises 29 seats.

As capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal is also home to the Governor, the country's parliament and the administration of the State.


At the beginning of the city of salt, sugar and beef lived. An export ban by the Portuguese crown mid-18th century led to the decline which lasted until the Brazilian independence. Frequent droughts did the rest. Today, tourism is next to the service sector and industrial production, the main source of income.


The climate is tropical with a mean annual temperature of 26 ° C. A constant light breeze from the Atlantic make the climate pleasant.


In the center ( Cidade Alta), the cathedral is of 1599th Forte dos Reis Magos lies on a headland at the Praia do Forte. The Museu do Mar you can see the marine life of the region. The town beach Artistas is frequented by residents, tourists are usually found on 12 km south still lying in the urban area of Ponta Negra beach with 120 meters high Careca Hill.


North and south, there are both lonely and busy beaches and fishing villages. From north to south the São Miguel do Gostoso (first Portuguese style building in Brazil), Touros (highest lighthouse in Brazil, 62 m), Genipabu ( dunes ), Pirangi ( largest cashew tree in the world with over 8000 m²), Tibau do Sul ( cliff ), Praia da Pipa ( very busy ) and Baía Formosa ( with coastal jungle ).

Research and Technology

At 5 ° 55 ' 30 " S, 35 ° 9' 47 " W - 5925 - 35.163055 located since 1965, the Centro de Lançamento de Foguetes Barreira do Inferno, a launch site for sounding rockets with frequent rockets of the types Nike Cajun, Sonda, Black Brant, Super Loki, and others can be started. In contrast to the launch site in Alcântara is not planned to use the Natal launch site for the launch of satellite rocket. For Brazilian citizen, it is possible to visit this launch site by appointment.

Near Natal is the Instituto Internacional de Neurociências de Natal, a research institute for neuroscience.



The Aeroporto International Augusto Severo is 18 kilometers away from the city center of Natal and is the main airport of the state. He offers a variety of daily domestic flights to São Paulo, among others, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte and Fernando de Noronha. In addition, there several times a week an international connection from / to Lisbon. In addition to scheduled flights Natal is also served by a variety of charter flights, including Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan, London, Stockholm and Buenos Aires.

There currently is with the Aeroporto São Gonçalo do Amarante, a second airport under construction. It is located about 40 km from Natal. Completion is scheduled for April 2014.

Public transport

The public transport system relies almost exclusively on buses. There are 86 bus lines, operated by seven private companies. The fare, however, laid down uniformly. In addition to the official bus transport, there are 177 licensed by the STTU small micro - buses (up to 16 passengers ) that operate on less frequented routes 24.

Since 2007, the Newton Navarro Bridge connects the northern part of the state of Rio Grande do Norte to the city of Natal.


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Sons and daughters of the town

  • André, ( born 1985 ), Brazilian footballer
  • Frederico Cunha ( b. 1951 ), convicted for the murder of Catholic priests