Port city (pop., 2002 est.: 2,219,800), northeastern Brazil. It lies at the mouth of the Pajeú River. Originating as a small village adjoining a Portuguese fort, it took the name of Villa do Forte da Assumpção in 1654. In 1810 it became the capital of Ceará captaincy, and in 1823 it was given city status. It became the capital of a province under the name of Fortaleza Nova de Bragança. It is a textile-manufacturing centre; its port handles exports.