Santarém


Santarém
/san'teuh rem"/; Port. /sahonn'tah rddayonn"/, n.
a city in N Brazil, on the Amazon River. 111,706.

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Brazil
      city, west-central Pará estado (state), northern Brazil. It is situated on the right bank of the Tapajós River, near its confluence with the Amazon River. Santarém was founded in 1661 as a Jesuit mission to a Tapajó Indian settlement (aldeia) and grew around a fort built by Pedro Teixeira. It was given town status in 1758, with the name of Tapajós, and was elevated to city rank in 1848. A group of Confederate exiles settled in Santarém after the American Civil War (1861–65); some of their descendants still live in the area, but most of the original settlers returned, disillusioned, to the United States.

      Santarém is now the most important town on the Amazon between Belém, some 600 miles (970 km) downriver to the east, and Manaus, about 450 miles (725 km) upstream to the west, and is a port of call for river steamers. The Tapajós River is navigable for steamers to the rapids 170 miles (275 km) above Santarém and for small boats to a point near Diamantino in Mato Grosso state. A modest trade comes from the settlements along the riverbanks. Rosewood oil, rubber, lumber, and jute are the region's most important exports. Manufactures include auto parts, machinery, and electrical equipment. Bauxite is converted to aluminum in Santarém, and petroleum and alcohol fuels are processed there. A few miles south of the city the escarpment of the Santarém plateau rises to an elevation of 400 feet (120 metres). The plateau, which is crossed by a road to Belterra, is one of the most productive areas of agricultural colonization in the Amazon valley. Rice, feijão (beans), cassava (manioc), and malva (a palm-shaped herb) are the principal crops. The raising of livestock is also significant. Highways link Santarém to Cuiabá, Pôrto Velho, and Belém. Pop. (2005 est.) 194,400.

      city, central Portugal. It lies along the Tagus (Portuguese: Tejo) River, 47 miles (76 km) northeast of Lisbon.

      Originating as the Roman Scalabis (renamed Praesidium Julium by Julius Caesar), it became an important fortress city in the course of the wars between the Moors and Christians, until it was finally taken by the Christians in 1147. The Portas do Sol are the ruins of the Alcáçova castle, which was a royal residence in the European Middle Ages; other landmarks are a former Jesuit seminary (1676), the late Gothic Church of the Convento da Graça (with the tomb of Pedro Álvares Cabral, discoverer of Brazil), and the early Gothic Basilica of São João de Alporão (now housing the municipal museum of sculpture). Each May, the Ribatejo agricultural fair is held in Santarém, attracting thousands of visitors. Industries include food processing, and tourism is of growing economic importance. Kaolin deposits, found near Santarém, are used to make china and pottery. Pop. (2001) city, 27,683.

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Universalium. 2010.

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