Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the continent of South America, and the entire southern hemisphere. It is the 9th largest city in the world. The city was originally founded by Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in 1554. The port soon became a base for exploration and was declared a city in 1711. In 1822, the city was the stage for the Brazilian Declaration of Independence from Portugal. In the late 1800’s, the city developed rapidly as a center of coffee production, and eventually of business and industry.
Today, Sao Paulo is the center of Brazil ‘s many industries including, automobile manufacturing, textiles, processed foods, metal products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, furniture, and computers. It is also home to the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, the thirteenth largest stock exchange in the world. Its downtown area features numerous modern skyscrapers, estates and public parks. The city is famous for its many museums such as the Latin American Memorial and the Sao Paulo Museum of Art.