Introduction of Sao luis
Port, city, and capital of Maranhao state on Sao Luis Island , in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 mi ESE of Belem.
The birthplace of many Brazilian writers and poets, it is known as the Athens of Brazil. Founded by the French in 1612 and named for Louis IX, it was taken by the Portuguese in 1615 and was under the control of the Dutch from 1641 to 1644. Under a commercial trading monopoly from 1682 to 1780 it flourished as a merchant’s center and had developed into a cultural center by the 19th century. Today it serves as the trading and distribution outlet for the state’s agricultural and industrial products. A 17th-century cathedral reflects Portuguese colonial life.