Nova Friburgo, city in a high mountain valley of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Founded in 1819 by immigrants from the Swiss canton of Fribourg, this settlement was part of an active government program, initiated by the government of Dom João VI, to promote and support agricultural colonies in Brazil. Based on the belief that settling small communities of European farmers would encourage the spread of agriculture, the government offered generous inducements to potential immigrants, and succeeded in attracting some two thousand Swiss Catholic colonists to the region. The colony at Nova Friburgo was successful, but costly to maintain, which discouraged similar ventures by the throne. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Nova Friburgo was a popular refuge from the yellow fever epidemics that ravaged Rio de Janeiro. The city is now an attractive summer resort northeast of Rio de Janeiro. As of 2006, it had an estimated population of 178,102.
See alsoBrazil: The Colonial Era, 1500–1808 .
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Sheila L. Hooker