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Definition of PORTO ALEGRE
city & port S Brazil ∗ of Rio Grande do Sul state at N end of Lagoa dos Patos pop 1,360,590
Port and city(pop., 2005 est.: city, 1,386,900; metro. area, 3,978,263), southern Brazil. Located along the Guaíba River near the Atlantic Ocean coast, it was founded c. 1742 by immigrants from the Azores. It was first known as Porto dos Casais. It received many German and Italian settlers in the 19th century. It is a centre of inland navigation and is the most important Brazilian commercial city south of São Paulo; exports include rice, tobacco, and hides. Industries include shipbuilding and the manufacture of textiles, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. It is also an educational centre.