Terra de Vera Cruz

Terra de Vera Cruz

Ilha de Santa Cruz, meaning "Island of the Holy Cross" or "Saint Cross Island", and Terra de Vera Cruz, meaning "land of the true cross" were early names of the Portuguese colonies in South America that later became Brazil.

The name Ilha de Santa Cruz was the first name given to the lands that Portuguese navigator and explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral first officially touched in South America. In the 16th century, the land was recognised to be a continent rather than an island. The name was thus changed to Terra de Vera Cruz. The country was subsequently divided for administration into the vice-kingdom of Brazil and that of Grão-Pará.


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