Curitiba (kōrētēˈbä) [key], city (1996 pop. 1,465,698), capital of Paraná state, SE Brazil. It was founded in 1654 but was of little significance until the late 19th and early 20th cent., when immigrants (chiefly Germans, Italians, and Slavs) began to develop the Paraná hinterland. A commercial and processing center for an expanding agricultural and ranch area, Curitiba exports beer, maté, lumber, and livestock products through the Atlantic port of Paranaguá, c.70 mi (110 km) away. The city also produces paper and tobacco products, matches, textiles, cement, and cars. Curitiba grew rapidly after 1950; modern buildings house two universities, the state public library, and the governor's offices.
More on Curitiba from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography