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Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is the largest island in the Volcanic archipelago of the same name.

The Fernando de Noronha archipelago lies in the south Atlantic ocean about 360 kilometers North East of Cabo de São Roque (Cape St Roque) on the Brazilian coast.

The island of Fernando de Noronha is about 32 kilometers in circumference. Its surface is rugged, with rocky hills from 150 to 220 meters in height and a mountainous peak rising 300 meters above sea level.

Amerigo Vespucci discovered the archipelago in 1503, during the course of a voyage to Brazil financed by Fernão de Loronha, a Portuguese nobleman.

Four years later, the Portuguese king Don Manuel I bestowed hereditary title of the islands on Fernão de Loronha, from whom the name of the archipelago is derived.

During the seventeenth century, the Dutch occupied the island, before being seized by the French East India Company.

In 1737, the Portuguese expelled the French and fortified the island. One fort, grandly styled el Forte de nossa Senhora dos Remédios, was also used to house criminals and political prisoners.


Prepared by: Turnbull, P
Created: 4 October 2001
Modified: 10 December 2003

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000061

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