St. Louis is a city and the capital of the state of Maranhão , Brazil. It is the only Brazilian city founded by the French , on September 8, 1612 and was subsequently invaded by the Dutch . Then was colonized by the Portuguese. It is located on the island of Upaon - Acu , in the South Atlantic between the bays of São Marcos and São José Ribamar . In 1621 , when Brazil was divided into two administrative units - Maranhão State and State of Brazil - São Luís is the capital of the former administrative unit .
The capital of Maranhão has a developed industrial sector for big corporations and many areas that have settled in the city due to its privileged geographic position between the North and Northeast regions , companies and its coastline strategically located close to major centers importers of products Brazilians like Europe and the United States , which allows fuel savings and reduction in delivery of goods from Brazil through the Port of Itaqui which is the second deepest in the world and one of the busiest , sophisticated and well structured for foreign trade in Brazil.
The city is connected to the state through a railway line and also the neighboring states of Pará , Tocantins and Piauí which facilitates and cheapens the coming agricultural escoação the hinterland to the port of Itaqui , and, with the completion the North-South Railway , the city will be interconnected to all Brazilian regions by rail . On the highway, the island is already served by the BR -135 . linking it to the mainland , and air, has the Marechal Cunha Machado International Airport , with a capacity to serve more than one million passengers per year and now operates nearly saturated demand for intense movement of passengers not only the city of São Luis, but also to serve as a gateway to be the largest and busiest airport next to the Maranhenses National Park
The climate is tropical and St. Louis semiúmido . This is due to the fact the city is located near the Intertropical Convergence Zone . The city features lots of coconut trees and a lot of coastal vegetation. There are small areas of Amazon rainforest that have withstood the urbanization of the city, all protected by environmental parks . Small rivers are born in the city : among them , the Bacanga River is the most important because it is very useful for fishing.
In 2010 , the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics counted the population at 1,014,837 , making St. Louis the most populous county in the state , the 15th most populous municipality in Brazil , and 4 of the Northeast region ( behind only Salvador , Fortaleza and Recife ) still being the thirteenth most populous capital of Brazil . Its area is 831.7 km ² , and 157.5656 km ² of the total are in urban area . The municipality is part of the Greater Region North Maranhense and microrregion the Urban Agglomeration of St. Louis , located north of the state of Maranhão . The Human Development Index ( HDI ) in the city , according to the United Nations dated the year 2010 is 0.768 , compared to the high human development index of Maranhão (which was 0,639 in the same year ) , and above the national average , being the fifteenth Brazilian state capital with the highest HDI and the third capital of the Northeast with the highest HDI , second only to Recife and Aracaju .