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The city and port of Santos is one of the oldest in Brazil. Its discovery was in 1502 and the foundation of the first settlement was in 1546. During the 18th century it began to grow because of the export of sugar, but its peak was in the mid-19th century because of the export of coffee produced in the west of the state of São Paulo. It has a very rich historic center with buildings from the 16th century.
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