A Portuguese navigator called Pero Coelho de Souza was the first to occupy this region, where he founded the Sao Thiago Fort and a small village called Nova Lisboa in 1603, whose population almost disappeared because of a severe drought in 1606. In 1612, Martins Soares Moreno, a member of Pero Coelho's expedition, returned to Ceara and built the Sao Sebastiao Fort in the same place. Moreno is considered the conqueror of Ceara, but it was a Dutch man, Mathias Beck, who founded the Shoonenborch Fort, after the Portuguese expelled the Spanish in 1654, which was later denominated Nossa Senhora de Assunçao Fort which became a village in 1712. Our Fortaleza de Pequena Bragança or simply Fortaleza originated from the small village which surrounded the fort. Its population has Indian and Portuguese origins.
According to official statistics published in 1996, Fortaleza has 1,965,513 inhabitants, representing a 2.17% increase in the period 1991-96.
Additional information on my city can be found at Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística-IBGE or Universidade Federal do Ceará-UFC.