Juiz de Fora (zhwēzh dĭ fôˈrə) [key], city (1996 pop. 423,913), Minas Gerais state, SE Brazil. It is an industrial and commercial city with more than half of the labor force engaged in textile production. Foodstuffs and plastics are also produced. The city, founded at the end of the 18th cent., grew rapidly because of its strategic location on the road to Rio de Janeiro. In the 19th cent., coffee cultivation was the main economic activity. The first railroad in Brazil was constructed (1861) between Juiz de Fora and Petrópolis. Juiz de Fora has a university and a museum.