Although the first contact of the Portuguese in Sergipe was here, the first and most important city of that place which would be a province in the future was São Cristóvão (Saint Christopher), which became a city in 1590 and was capital of Sergipe from 1823 to 1855. In the mid-19th century, there was a sudden need for a purpose-built harbor and administrative centers, and the core of modern Aracaju was constructed overnight, becoming the province capital in 1855, and after 1889 the state capital. In 1910, the city was made the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Aracaju.
Unlike the other Brazilian capitals that were planned and built in the 19th century, Aracaju is known throughout the country for its modern look, several festivals, and pre-carnival feast. Oil wealth, sugar cane cultivation, and more recently tourism continue to stimulate its growing economy. Colonial towns, such as Laranjeiras and São Cristóvão, are only a short bus ride away (Adapted from The Rough Guide to Brazil (2000), UK)