(Tupi: pa'ra a'íba: "bad for navigation"; Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation: ) is a state of Brazil. It is located in the Brazilian Northeast, and it is bordered by Rio Grande do Norte to the north, Ceará to the west, Pernambuco to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Paraíba is the third most densely populated state of the Northeast; João Pessoa, the sea-bordered state capital, and Campina Grande, in the interior, rank among the fifteen-largest municipalities in the Northeast of Brazil.
Paraíba is most populated along the Atlantic coast, which extends as far as Ponta do Seixas, the easternmost point of the Americas. The state is a tourist and industrial hotspot; it is known for its cultural heritage, amenable climate and geographical features, ranging from the seaside beaches to the Borborema Plateau. It is named after the Paraíba river.
Some of the most notable Brazilian writers and poets are from Paraíba like Augusto dos Anjos, José Américo de Almeida, José Lins do Rego and Pedro Américo, the last being also known for his historical paintings.
The area soon proved perfect for sugar production, with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese all constantly fighting to control the Paraíba region to grow the lucrative sugarcane in. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near João Pessoa, was built to protect the city from the Dutch, who soon became a threat to Portuguese supremacy in Brazil.