Brazil started to speak Portuguese on the 22nd of April 1500. It was on a Wednesday. On that day, 1,350 men, distributed on nine ships (one had disappeared during the voyage) and three caravels, under the command of the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral, had launched their anchors. They departed from Lisbon and landed ashore at Porto Seguo, on the southern costal region of Bahia, after crossing the Atlantic for 45 days. It was the first group of Europeans to set foot on Brazilian soil, where it was only populated by the native tribes. Even if certain researchers claim that before Cabral, other navigators had already previously conquered Brazil, Pedro Alvares is the only one officially recognized as it’s discoverer. In the year 2000, exactly entering into the new millennium, Brazil celebrated 500 years from the “discovery of Brazil”.
Part of Cabral’s men, there was also a man named Pero Vaz de Caminha, who even though was the group’s official scrivener, wrote a long letter to the King of Portugal, D. Manoel I, telling him about the problems during their voyage, their discovery, the encounter with the natives and the fantastic natural beauty of Brazil. This letter was the first document on Brazil, and in the final part of it, expresses the beauty of Caminha, in front of the beauty and with the great extension of this new land “this land seems that from the south point from where we arrived up until the north point, is so vast that you can count 20 or 25 stretches of coast lines and all the land seen in the background from up high, is all so vast and full of large trees. From one point to another there are beaches….very vast and very beautiful…”
But Brazil was not initially called Brazil. It’s first name was Isola di Vera Cruz, because Cabral believed that this discovered land was an island. A year later, certain that it indeed was not an island, the name was changed in Terra di Vera Cruz, later to become the Terra di Santa Cruz(ordered by King D. ManoelI), Land of the Parrots was the preferred by the navigators who were so surprised seeing the great number of these birds, and then finally, called Brazil. Brazil of Pau-Brazil. Ever since the beginning, you can notice a close relation Brazil has with nature, because pau-Brazil is the name of a tree with a reddish trunk, very abundant in the Atlantic forest of that era, and it’s wood is very precious in Europe, because of it’s strong red extract specially used to dye textiles.
Times have drastically changed and today Brazil is one of the most visited countries in the world. Brazilians are very hospitable, and staying in a Bed & Breakfast in Brazil is the better way to get to know the real Brazilian hospitality. The Bed & Breakfast Brazil network on the web site BBrazil.com selects the country’s best Bed & Breakfast.