Florianópolis has been fascinating for centuries. Its first inhabitants, the Tupi-Guarani people, were already aware that the island had plenty of subsistence resources - mainly agriculture and fishing activities.
In 1514, the Portuguese landed in the region and, as everyone who had been here, were amazed at its untouched beauty. They named it "Ilha dos Patos" (Duck Island). Some years later, the island was renamed as Ilha de Santa Catarina (Santa Catarina Island). It was only in 1673, with the arrival of a pioneer named Francisco Dias Velho, that Santa Catarina Island started to be oficially populated. About fifty years later, the community reached the status of village and was named Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Our Lady of Desterro). At that time, territorial conflicts between Portugal and Spain were still frequent. As a consequence, and due to its strategic location to defend the country's southern territory, in 1738 the island started to be military occupied. Great fortifications necessary to defend the region, such as Santa Cruz, São José da Ponta Grossa, Santo Antônio and Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Barra Sul were built at that time. Currently, the constructions remain an invaluable symbol of this time.
From the middle of the 18th century on, an expressive number of Azorean inmigrants were encouraged by the Portuguese Royalty to come to the island, as a way to retain the excessive population growth. As a consequence, both agriculture and the cotton and flax manufacture industries grew, and we can still see results of this growth in the activity of the traditional lacemakers.
In 1823, the city became the capital of the State of Santa Catarina, and started receiving federal investments, entering a time of prosperity and growth. With the end of the federalist revolution, in 1894, the city was finally named Florianópolis, in honor to the national president at the time, Floriano Peixoto.
Entering the 20th century, Florianópolis wnt through profound transformations, having cicil construction as its economic backbone. Basic services, such as electric energy, water supply and sewage system were installed. In 1935, the Hercílio Luz Bridge was built and named in honor to the governor at the time. it is still the main icon of the city and its urban development
Source: Florianópolis City Hall