The Fortaleza de S. Sebastião was intended to defend the capital against piratical attacks.
"Yes, and some fazendas are called 'Fortaleza' for that very reason," said her uncle.
The capital of the state is Fortaleza, sometimes called Cear, which is also the principal commercial centre and shipping port.
Fortaleza has suffered much from epidemics of yellow-fever, small-pox and beri-beri, but the climate is considered to be healthy.
Fortaleza had its origin in a small village adjoining a fort established at this point in early colonial times.