About Foz do Iguaçu

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Foz do Iguaçu (Iguazú River Mouth) (Portuguese pronunciation: ['f?s du igwa'su]) is the 7th largest city in Paraná state, southern Brazil, with a population of 255,900 inhabitants. It is located approximately 650 km (400 miles) west of Curitiba, Parana's capital city. The inhabitants of the city are known as “Iguaçuenses”.

In 1542, a Spanish explorer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, found the falls while travelling down the river. Very impressed, he named them "Quedas de Santa Maria". But later the name changed to Quedas del Iguazu; this is a native name from the Guarani Indians who once lived there.

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Until 1860, it was in Paraguayan territory, but given Paraguay´s defeat in the War of the Triple Alliance and big loses of territory to the winners, the falls passed to Brazilian control in the north side and Argentine control in the south side. 

In 1910 the colony's status was upgraded to the position of "vila" (town or village) named "Vila Iguazu" and in 1918 the municipality became known as “Foz do Iguaçu”.

In 1916 Alberto Santos-Dumont visited the region and, impressed with its beauties, suggested more attention of the government to the area and asked for the appropriation of the land that is currently the Parque do Iguaçu (Iguazu Park).

The city experienced a major economic boom in the 1960s to the late 1980s, first with the construction of the Friendship Bridge concluded in 1965, and the Itaipu Dam, finished in the beginning of the 1980s.

In 2004 the city's economy started to grow after a long time of recession.

Source: Iguassu Convention & Visitors Bureau

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