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Manaus was established in 1669. The town grew rapidly when it was the center of Brazil's rubber production in the 1800s. During this period, among other things, built a great opera house in Manaus. The main market, Mercado Central, also stems from this period and will be built on the model of Les Halles in Paris. Rubber boom ended when more efficient rubber plantations opened in the British colonies of Ceylon and Malaya.

In the mid-1960s military junta established a free trade zone in the city. Many manufacturing companies established factories and the jobs currently about 125 000 people in this zone. The lack of good roads that make most of the products are carried out on the boat or by plane. This zone has led to a renewed growth of Manaus, from the mid 1980s until the mid 2000s, the city's population increased from about 200 000 and up to about 1.5 million.

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