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Coat of Arms of Vasco Coutinho

Vasco Fernandes Coutinho (1490–1561) was the founder of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.

He was born in Portugal. He was later amongst the first 12 volunteers from Portugal to come to the newly discovered land which came to be known as Brazil. He was presented the area which became Espírito Santo and administered the colony for 25 years, despite being a military man by trade.

He founded the current capital Vitória and the first capital, today known as Vila Velha ("Old Town").

During his administration Espírito Santo's first two churches – São João and Rosário founded in 1551, both in Vila Velha – were founded. Both are still standing.

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