History: was home to seven different indigenous groups speaking 20 languages before being discovered by a Portuguese expedition led by Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci in 1502; became wealthy with the discovery of gold and diamonds circa 1720; Portuguese capital in exile when the royal family fled from Lisbon following Napoleon’s 1808 invasion; independence declared in 1822 and capital of Brazil until 1960 when Brasilia was built. Nickname: A Cidade Maravilosa (the marvellous city).
Language: Portuguese. Population: around 6.1 million....
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