12 May 2014

Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre

In 2014 Porto Alegre takes it's place among the host cities for the Fifa World Cup event, as it did also in the 1950 world cup. See the fixtures being played in Porto Alegre below:

15th June

France v Honduras
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre
18th June

Australia v Netherlands
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre
22nd June

Korea Republic v Algeria
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre
25th June
Nigeria v Argentina
Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre
30th June

Winner G vs Runner up H Estadio Beira-Rio Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre - Brazil
Accommodation in Porto Alegre
BackgroundPorto Alegre (Happy Port) in Brazil is the capital city of the state 'Rio Grande Do Sul'.  Manuel Sepûlveda founded this city in 1769, although the official date is 1772. It is the southernmost capital city in Brazil and one of the top cultural , economic and political centres of Brazil. Following the pattern of many of the other cities in the series, the city was subjected to a large influx of immigrants in the late 19th century. The immigrants came mainly from Italy, Germany and Poland. Today, the vast majority of the city population are of European descent
Porto Alegre - Brazil
The city lies on the east bank of the Rio Guiaba, at the point where five different rivers converge and form a freshwater lagoon called Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks) which is navigable by even the largest vessels. This junction has become an important port as well as a chief commercial and industrial centre of Brazil. The Guiaba lake gives Porto Alegre a very  long coastline. The lake also contains an archipelago comprised of many islands which have a unique ecosystem giving shelter to an abundant and varied wildlife. Locally the economy is broad based with emphasis on agriculture and industry. Shoe and leather production is important especially in the area iof Novo Hamburgo, Also significant to the city and it's economy is the cultivation of plums, peaches, rice and cassava, all of which are grown on small holdings. Among the flora of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul you will find the last vestiges of the Atlantic forest. The environs of Porto Alegre includes a great number of parks and many wooded streets.

1773, July bthe 24th is the date that the status of Porto Alegre was raised to that of capital city of the province Rio Grande do Sul. 1824 was the year that saw the immigration begin in earnest, as settlers to the area cane from Germany, Spain, Poland, Lebanon, Israel and Italy thus creating a rich diversity of population and resulting in the multicultural city we see today.

The history of Porto Alegre has been written through extreme hard work and lots of bravery, and while there has been many wars, the war that marks out the people it has to be that of the of the 19th century during the Farrapos war which was fought for the independence from Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. 


Porto Alegre has what is described as a humid subtropical climate, producing high average rainfall which is regular throughout the year. Summer produces high averages with temperature often going above 35 degrees, which, when combined with the rainfall produces high humidity and making summer feel very muggy. Winters are mild and daylight hours long. 14 hours during December and 10 in June. The proximity of Southern Brazil to Antartica has raised concerns as the population is occasionally exposed to extremely high levels of UV radiation. Snow is rare; so rare that between 1879 and 2006 it has been recorded just 6 times.


A number of conservation programs are in place to protect native trees and much deliberate planting occurs to protect against extinction. The urban area of the city has many parks and plazas which earn it the lovely position and title of greenest of all of the provincial capitals of Brazil. More than one million trees line the streets of Prto alegre and there are more than 30,000 tree seedlings planted annually thus about 39 percent of the city space is comprised of green areas.

Air Quality

During recent years with the increase of personal wealth and the increased ownership of motor vehicles the city has witnessed increased pollution and as a result of emissions, decreased air quality. Five stations throughout the city constantly monitor the air for quality. New buses have helped decrease the quantity of air pollutants through shorter idling time. The area around Porto Alegre is rich in natural gas and taxis are slowly being converted from petrol to natural gas. For the future hybrid buses which use electricity and Diesel are being considered, although the high levels of sulphur in the air have dropped dramatically as a result of using  a petrobrás product called city diesel.


 International Airport
Salgado Filho International Airport connects Porto Alegre to many other areas of Brazil , other south american countries Panama and Portugal via an average of 174 daily flights in and out. There are also direct, international flights to the other countries of the Southern Cone which is comprised of, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, plus Miami in North America and Lisbon in Europe. There is also a very important air cargo terminal  which has a throughput of hundreds of thousands of tonnes every month.

The port of Porto Alegre is located on the eastern side of Lake Guaiba, where it's waters empty into the enormous Lagoa dos Patos. The port has the accolade of being the largest in Brazil. It is only 2 miles or 4 kilometres from the Salgado International Airport and has excellent connections to the main access roads to the city proper of Porto Alegre. The port is also connected to the rail system via the docks of Mauá and Navegantes with it's geographical location providing excellent and permanent traffic between Porto Alegre and Buenos Aires transporting mainly Agricultural produce and steel industry products.

Bearing the name Trensurb Porto Alegre has a metropolitan train system linking Downtown Porto Alegre to other cities to the north. Trensurb is operated jointly by the local federal government and the state government of Rio Grande do Sul. Trensurb operates a network of 40 kilometres/25 miles and carries 130,000 passengers daily via 19 stations
Given the location of Porto Alegre it is easy to understand why the network of highways runs along the north and north eastern boundaries, and while the network generally is very good it is still subject to rush hour traffic jams and in particular the stretch of the Canoas to Novo Hamburgo on the BR-116. Many upgrades have taken place and as a result it is possible to drive from Porto Alegre to Rio Alegre to Rio de Janeiro or Belo Horizonte using 4 lane highways for almost the entire journey.
The city transportation system comprises a fleet of autobuses and minibuses carrying approximately 32525 million passengers annually. All the main neighbourhoods are served and a hop on hop service is used, as in many other of the cities featured in this series. the system is made up of transverse and circular lines and routes but it is not clearly defined which lines serve which areas the system can be challenge to use, Congestion is still a major issue and a rapid transit line is planned for completion to ease the congestion and help with the movement of the influx of tourists for the 2014 world cup.
A total of 3922 taxicabs operate in Porto Alegre across 317 stops. A regular taxi is coloured orange while designated airport taxis are white.


PortPortugues in the national language and the primary language taught in schools. English and Spanish are also taught. There exists some international schools as well. Porto Alegre has the highest level of education in Brazil with 20% of family leaders having a university education and resulting degree.

Football is a passion of most people in Porto Alegre with huge rivalry between the two clubs Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense founded in 1903 and the club founded in 1909 Sport Club Internacional.

14 April 2014

Curitiba - Cities of Brazil


The Fixtures for the 2014 FIFA World Cup
16th June 16:00 12 Iran Nigeria F Arena da Baixada Curitiba
20th June 19:00 26 Honduras v Ecuador E Arena da Baixada Curitiba
23rd June 13:00 35 Australia v Spain B Arena da Baixada Curitiba
26th June 17:00 48 Algeria v Russia H Arena da Baixada Curitiba

 Hotels and accommodation in Curitiba are a thing of luxury being fairly costly and almost all above 3 stars. There are plenty of things to see and do in Curitiba and we will get to those later on.  (If you are wanting to be in Curitiba for the world cup be quick. Accommodation is now thin on the ground and increasing in price.)

While you are in Curitiba enjoy some of the excursions and tours and learn about the history of this wonderful and warmhearted city.

Curitiba is the largest city and the capital of the state of Paraná, and as of 2010 was the eighth most populous city of Brazil.

Curitiba features in Latin America as an important centre for culture, politics and economics. The federal University of Paraná is located within the city. Curitiba is not quite a coastal city, lying 105 Kilometres (65 miles west and inland of the seaport of Panaraguá. Curitiba is served by two airports. Bacheri airport and the Afonso Pena International airport.

Curitiba had it's first major expansion in the 1700's due to it's location. It has what was then a very favourable location between cattle breeding country and market places. This made Curitiba a perfect trading ground , and a successful cattle grew up grew up in the city. the hundred years between 1850 and 1950 saw Curitiba grow due to the expansion of logging and agriculture in the Paraná state, this was the first araucaria logging in the state. Cultivation later widened to coffee, Mate (a tea like drink), wheat, which arrived in the 1970's, along with corn and soybean. in the 1850's Curitiba received am influx of immigrants from Europe, drawing mainly from Germany, Italy, Poland and the Ukraine, which all contributed to citiy's cultural and economic development leading to the diverse and rich culture that the city enjoys today. These days migration to the city has decreased and now largely comes form other Latin American countries, and the middle east. Curitiba has been labelled the best Latin American 'big city' in which to live and has one of the highest human development indexes in Brazil. Once again, Curitiba is going to host some of the fixtures of the FIFA football world cup event for 2014. Curitiba also hosted some games for the 1950 world cup too.

The history of the name 'Curitiba' is open to theory. One is that it comes from two Tupi words. kuri and tiba which combine to mean 'many pine seeds' possibly because of the number of pine cones from the Paraná pines int the area prior to it's founding. Obviously there would have also been a large quantity of pine trees also so the name of the city could potentially have arrived from the combination of kurit (pine tree) and  yba (large amount).

When the Portuguese settled here in 1693 they named the area 'Via da Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais' (Village of Our Lady of the Light of the Pines). The name was then changed to Curitiba in 1721, and then with the following spelling Curityba the village, became a town in 1812. For a time 'Coritiba' was used as a spelling, and appears in press and state documents. This continued until 1919 when a state decree was issued to settle the issue and 'Curitiba' was decided upon for the official spelling of the town.


The first 10 years of the 16th century marked the beginning of the war of conquest between the Portuguease colonists and the indegenous peoples that inhabited the area at the time. 29th march 1693 is when the City Council was founded and is regarded as the birth date of Curitiba. The end of the 17th century saw Curitiba with subsistence farming and an economy (as we have seen many other areas of Brazil) based mainly on the extraction of minerals. At this point Curitiba was part of the province of Sao Paulo. It continued like this until 1853 when the south and southwest of the province of Sao Paulo were separated and became the province of Paraná with Curitiba as it's Capital City. I mention above in the opening paragraphs that Curitiba was an important trading post for cattle. This came about because of the 'tropeiros' (cattle Drivers). The tropeiros would take their herds from the Viamao in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul to a marketplace in Sorocaba located in Sao Paulo, and then on to Minas Gerais. Over winter they would settle in the 'campos de Curitiba' (fields of Curitiba). There they would remain until spring. During the winter months the cattle herders would trade turning Curitiba into an important trading post. Formed from this settling were the traditions of wearing ponchos, meat roasting and the drinking of mate (a bitter tea made from yerba). The agglomeration of circles of men led to settlements being formed. The cattle driving culture lasted more than two centuries and with it came some distinct cultural features now a part of life in the Paraná. The region also has a distinct accent recognized by the pronounced e's and t's.

Use of the mate plant and wood increased substantially during the 19th century and this stimulated the construction of the railroad between Paranaguá nd Curitiba. This was the first link between the capital of the then province of Paraná and the coast. This railroad represents one of the greatest works of national engineering mad possible by two brothers, Antonio and André Rebouças. It took only 5 years to complete and used significant amounts of immigrant labour.

The mate mills and the mate barons that built residential mansions in the capital bought significant wealth to Curitiba. The next big economic cycle that arrived was the coffee monoculture. This caused cities to spring up all over the state of Paraná and had a huge impact on the economy of the capital. Relentless bad weather had massive negative impact on the coffee crops and thus coffee was eventually replaced by soybean. The Black Frost of July 1975 is documented and was the nail in coffin of the coffee crops. The frost destroyed all the coffee crops and coffee was completely wiped out from the area. Over time manual labour has been replaced with mechanization resulting in the need for a change to the dynamics of the city. Since 1950 the city has increased in population and consolidated it's position as a hub for trade and services, making it one of the richest cities of Brazil, and a pioneer in urban solutions. In the 40's and 50's Alfred Agache was hired to come up with the first city plan. The plan was produced and then followed but only in part because it was prohitively costly. The plan featured a star formation of boulevards, sanitation, an industrial district and an area downtown for the public amenities.

Curiously Curitiba was Capital city of Brazil for only 3 days in 1969.


Curitiba has a subtropical highland climate or a maritime temperate climate according to the Köppen classifaction system. It is located in Southern Brazil. It is a humid city lying in a temperate zone. Curitiba lies on a plateau featuring flat land and flooded areas which contribute to it's mild and damp winters which have an average low of 7 ºC. It can fall below 0 ºC on it's coldest nights. Summertime it has an acceptable average of 25 º. Of the twenty six six state capitals in Brazil Curitiba has the highest altitude and is also the coldest. Having said that, snow has only been recorded 11 times since 1889.


Curitiba is an international role model in how to deal with urban issues like transportation and the environment when problems arise due to population growth. Since it's declaration as the Capital of the state of Paraná, Curitiba has gone through several several plannign projects to avoid uncontrollable growth which is how it has becaome this rome model internationally. I mention above that the city has an economy based on services and trade. Now add to the list commerce, and it is now considered by many investors to be the best location in Brazil for investment. The city receives over two million visitors a year with sixty thousand flights annually land at Afonso Pena international airport.

Nissan, Renault, Philip Morris, Audi, Volkswagen, siemens, HSBC, Volvo, Electrolux, Exxonmobil, and Kraft Foods all have homes in Cidade Industrial de Curitiba, as well as nationally known names such as Sadia, O Bolicario and Positivo Informatica. The infrastructure of the city makes Bus travel cheap, fast and Convenient, creating a demand for bus use over that of the use of private cars.

Curitiba has six massive shopping malls, and an essential element of shopping in Curitiba is the Largo da Ordem street Fair.

Curitiba is one of the wealthiest cities per capita in Brazil and one of the best cities to work in Southern Brazil, according to Vocè S.A magazine 2006.

 Tourism and Recreation

Attractions in the city include:

  1. German Woods - Honours German Immigration.
  2. Italian Woods - Hosts local celebrations.
  3. Tinguii Park - Part of the biggest linear environmental  park in the country. The park serves to remind of the original inhabitants of the area- Here you can see, a Tindiqüera chieftan statue. The Ukranian memorial, and a replica of an orthodox church housing pysankas and an icon exhibition.
  4. Japan Square - This pays homage to the Japanese immigrants to the area who settled to work in the agricultural sector. Around the square, sent from Japan are 30 cherry trees, artificial lakes, and the Japanese Portal and Tea House which were built in 1993.
  5. Wire Opera House
  6. Oscar Niemeyer Museum - displaying works mainly from Paraná artists alongside artists from other areas. It also has three rooms dedicated to photography.
  7. Panoramic Tower - A lookout tower 360 feet in the air offering 360º views of the city. It also has a telephony museum on the ground floor.
  8. Botanical Garden - Aside of the treasure trove of native plants the gardens are also known for the greenhouse which was inspired by London's Crystal Palace.
  9. Portugal Wood - Celebrating the bonds between Portugal and Brazil. The space is highlighted by the track which follows a small brook, where on the tiles you can see excerpts from famous Portuguese language poets, as well as tributes to the famous Portuguese navigators and their discoveries.
  10. Tanguá park - inaugurated in 1996 as part of the Barigüi river preservation project it connects Tingüi and Barigüi parks.
  11. Curitiba International Ecological Marathon - is held in November and widely known as the hardest in Brazil due to the hilly course and it's being held in the height of Brazil's summer.
  12. Tourism Line - A bus service that stops at key tourist attractions throughout the city.


The State of Paraná has more than 183 universities

Universidade do Paraná was the fist university in Brazil and has it's home in Curitiba. Including:
·    Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) – Federal University of Paraná – This federal university is the largest of Paraná, with more than 20.000 students. The first university of Brazil;
·    Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) – Federal Technologic University of Parana is the first university of technology from Brazil;
·    Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Paraná - Paraná Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology;
·    Universidade Positivo (UP) - University Positivo
·    Universidade Estadual do Paraná (UNESPAR) - State University of Paraná;
·    Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR) – Pontifical Catholic University of Parana - A major private university
·    ESIC Business and Marketing School – International Website ESIC
·    Centro Universitário Curitiba (UNICURITIBA) - University Center Curitiba, old Law School of Curitiba.

In the 1900's a scheme was started called the Lighthouses of Knowledge 'Faróis do Saber'. These so called lighthouses are free educatinal centres open to everyone that encompass Free internet access, libraries and other cultural resources. Libraries work in conjunction with the municipal school and offer to the pupils access to over 5000 books. Among the capitals of Brazil Curitiba ranks number 1 in education and has the highest literacy rate 

Urban Planning

Curitiba has a well planned transport system, which includes dedicated rapid bus lanes on major streets. The buses are in three sections (bi-articulated) and stop at designated elevated tubes, all of which have access for disabled passengers. Across the system the fare is one price regardless of the distance you are travelling. The city preserves and cares for all of it's green spaces. Staggeringly the city has around 51.5 square metres (554 square feet) per inhabitant.

By the 1960's the population of Curitiba had reached 430,000 people, and some residents at the time were fearful that the growth in the population would damage the character of the city. Jaime Lerner who was later to become mayor led a team of planners from the Federal University that proposed strict controls on urban sprawl, reduced traffic in the downtown area and an affordable traffic system. On top of all of this the plans included preservation of the historic sector of the city.

Today Curitiba is considered one of the finest examples in the world of deliberate urban planning. The has been held up to Afghanistan as example for it's cities by UNESCO.

The integrated transport system was created for the city in 1980's, and has had the desired effect of reducing the volume of private cars.

According to a survey 99% of the inhabitants of Curitiba are happy with their hometown, and in 2007 out of 15 green cities Curitiba was placed third. Curitiba has schemes in place to benefit the poorest of it's population and the environment at the same time, which also promote social inclusion. One such is the employment program. Low income families that find themselves living in shanty towns that are unreachable by truck take their household rubbish to designated neighbourhood centres where they can exchange them for bus tickets and food. The resulting effects are less city litter and reduced disease. less litter in environmentally sensitive areas like the rivers, and improved quality of life for the undernourished poor. There is also a program that includes the children, where they can exchange recyclable rubbish in exchange for chocolate, toys and tickets for shows.

The "Garbage That is not Garbage" program recycles 70% of the rubbish produced by the city, and this is done by the city residents. Once a week a truck collects cardboard, glass, paper, metal and glass which has been pre-sorted by the residents. Recycling the paper alones saves 1,200 trees a day, while the city uses homeless and alcoholics to the rubbish sorting plants. Curitiba has the lowest atmospheric pollution in Brazil.


Public transport
The transport system in the city consists solely of buses, and is the worlds first rapid bus system which opened in 1974. It has been so popular that the effect has been that while many homes and families own private vehicles they leave them at home, and private traffic has reduced greatly. Compared to other Cities of a similar size, Curitiba consumes about 30 less fuel per capita which affords the city the lowest rates of air pollution in the country. On average Curitibanos (the name given to inhabitants of Curitiba) spend only 10% of their income on travel. This is much less than the national average.

The Trinary road system allows for quick access to the city centre by car. However the  many one way streets and frequent traffic jams makes moving around in a car difficult.

Located in the nearby city of Sao José dos Pinhais, Afonso Pena International Airport is the main airport for Curitiba. All commercial flights operate from this airport. Bacacheri is smaller and a more general avaiation facilty.

More info
The city is replete with 100km of bike lines for a daily quota of 30,000 cyclists. City streets carry almost 1,000,000 vehicles of which 2253 are orange taxis, and to service all of these vehicles the city contains over 355 petrol stations.


Culture has always been integral to the development of the city of Curitiba, and this brought attention to the city in the 1970's, when a disused warehouse formerly used for the storage of ammunition was converted into the Teatro Paiol. Many different artists covering a wide rnge of genres came to perform here and then in 1973 the Fundação Cultural de Curitiba was set up with the am of promoting culture and it's production in the city.

Culture pervades all of the districts of the city and the foundation has a broad infrastructure of specialized staff. They have 150 sites for cultural events, in 50 different buildings throughout the city. Cultural centres includes, Libraries, theatres, cinemas, museums. exhibition rooms and studios, and they are all equipped to meet the needs of the artists and the community that frequent these cultural spaces. The foundation also bears the huge responsibility for the preservation conservation and research of the cultural heritage of 
Curitiba. It ha sit's headquarters in the Palacete wolf (Wolf Mansion) built in 1877. The mansion is part of the historic patrimony of the city.

The historical sector is yet one more innovation bought in with the new policies regarding the culture of the city in the 1970's, when people were talking about the preservation of individual buildings. Curitiba took an unusual step in passing a law to preserve the city's entire historical sector. This groundbreaking law has since been adopted throughout the entire country. The cultural spaces that you find in Curitiba are in themselves tourist attractions and attract many people to the city. The Parque das Pedreiras includes an area that in it's time was a stone quarry, and has since been renamed the Pedreira Paulo Leminski, and an opera house built entirely of metal and glass. It is called Opera de Arame, which can accommodate audiences of up to 30,000. Appearing in the famous names that have performed on it's stage are the Spanish tenor José Carreras, Paul McCartney, national stars and celebrities from the Brazilian Popular Music movement, and others. Guiara Theatre, which is maintained by the state government is one of the largest theatres in Latin America. The Oscar Niemeyer Museum. The Frans Krajcberg Cultural Space is contained within the Botanical Gardens. The Frans Kracjberg space holds 114 large sculptures and three relief carvings in tree trunks. All of these works are being donated to the city, and this is the first space designed for and dedicated to works of this Polish sculptor. Donwtown Curitiba you will find the Solar do Barao Cultural Complex. This complex features the Photography Museum, the Engravings Museum and the Posters Museum. Gibiteca is a unique cultural space, in that, it is a library dedicated to comic books. It was inaugurated in 1982 and is a national pioneer holding exhibits, fairs, workshops and contests. Gibiteca has more than 10,000 members and over 45,000 comic books. The Museu Metropolitan de Arte has on display a permanent collection of art from the state of Paraná as well as works from other famous Brazilian artists, such as, Guignard, Djanira, Portinari, Pancetti, Di Cavalcanti, Cravo, Mário, Marx, Burle and others.

Turning to music it is the Brazilian Popular Music Conservatory that deserves all the attention. This institution maintains string and wind orchestras. We must also mention the Brasilerao, and Brasileirinho choirs. The city also, very proudly supports and maintains the Curitiba Camerata Antiqua, which is the single most important ensemble in Brazil in the sphere of musica antiqua.  The Fundaçao Cultural de Curitiba hosts and has done so for some time the largest music workshop in Latin America since 1982. The workshop is held every year and lasts for 20 days with around 2,000 students taking part. Over 100 concerts more than 21,000 members of the public attend.

The parks in Curitiba present many cultural events which pay tribute to the diverse ethnic groups that have over the course of the region's history chosen to settle there since the 19th century. The Tingüi park is home is home to the Ukranian Memorial. This architectural complex includes a portal and a replica of an old orthodox chapel, which was originally built on top of the Serra do Tigre mountain range. The chapel is of Byzantine style and adorned with a golden dome. Visitors can also see the permanent exchibition of pysanky (Ukranian decorated easter eggs), Religious icons and several embroidered items.

The Polish Memorial (also called the Pope's Woods) is a delightful area surrounded by trees, and is perfect for a quiet stroll. The first replica of Polish houses was actually blessed by the incumbent Pope himself when he visited the city in 1980.

Curitiba was the first city in Brazil to have an IMAX theatre. There are a great many theatres in Curitiba, the largest and  grandest of which is the Guaira, which hosts the Curitiba festival every year.

Curitiba is replete with many museums, some of which I have already mentioned, to add to the list and peak your desire to visit here are some more:
·    Museu Paranaense ("Paranaense Museum") – arts and history;
·    Oscar Niemeyer Museum – the largest museum of Latin America, dedicated to plastic arts;
·    Museu de Arte Sacra ("Religious Art Museum") – Christian art;
·    Museu do Expedicionário ("Museum of Expeditionary") – Brazilian participation in World War II;
·    Museu de Arte Contemporânea ("Museum of Contemporary Art");
·    Museu da Imagem e do Som ("Image and Sound Museum") – cinema and photography;
·    Museu Metropolitano de Arte de Curitiba ("Metropolitan Museum of Art in Curitiba") – modern art;
·    Museu de História Natural ("Natural History Museum") – biology and botany.

Festivals in Curitiba

      Many festivals in Curitiba are yearly events and related to the arts; for example the Curitiba Theatre Festival, and the Music Workshop of Curitiba. Others are drawn from festivals bought to Curitiba by the immigrants from their home country's, such as the Grape Feast which relates back to the Italians that settled there. The Four Matsuri (Imin Matsuri, Haru Matsuri, Hana Matsuri, and the Seto Matsuri). They all relate to the Japanese immigrants. Imin celebrates the arrival of the Japanese Immigrants in Brazil, Haru, is the Spring Festival, Hana, which is a flower festival and celebrates the birth of Sakyamuni, and finally Seto which celebrates Claudio Seto, the Cartoonist and idealist of the first Matsuri In Curitiba.

3 April 2014

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

The 2014 Fixtures for Sao Paulo

12th June 17:00
Brazil v Croatia A Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
19th June 16:00
Uruguay v England D Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
23rd June 13:00
Netherlands v Chile B Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
26th June 17:00
Korea Republic v Belgium H Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
1st July 13:00
Winner F vs Runner up E Arena de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
9th July 17:00
Winner quarter final 3 v Winner quarter final 4 Arena Sao Paulo Sao Paulo
Accommodation & Hotels in Sao Paul - Brazil
Sao Paulo has been selected to  be one of the host cities for the 2014 football world cup. The fixtures that this city will be hosting are in the table above.

Sau Paulo is The largest city in Brazil, the largest city proper in the southern hemisphere and the seventh most populous city in the world. The capital city of the state of Sao Paulo, it exerts a very strong influence regionally in the areas of, commerce, arts and entertainment, and finance. the name of the city honours Saint Paul of Tarsus.

The city hosts hosts many high profile events andn among them the Brazilian Fourmula 1 grand Prix and it is host to the worlds largest gay pride parade. Residents of the city are known as Paulistanos while Paulistas are people from the surrounding state of Sao Paulo.

The city of Sao Paulo also hosted the Football World Cup in 1950.

Progression of time

The name of the city and the surrounding state goes back to the founding of a college on the 25th January 1554. It was named after the apostle Paul of Tarsus as it was founded on the day celebrating him. Originally called Colégio de São Paulo de Piratininga it was later moved to another location for improved protection against the local Indian groups, when it received the name Vila de Sao Paulo. For the next two centuries surviving on subsistence farming Sau Paulo developed as a poor village. It was the only village in the interior of the country as travel to and from the village was extremely difficult. March 22nd 1661 saw the village changed in status to that of state capital. Amidst much public celebration the capital was established on 23rd of April 1683. The 17th century was a poor time for Sao Paulo and it wasn't until the discovery of gold in Minas Gerais in the 1690's did Sao Paulo begin to attract new settlers. It was following this discovery that the town of Sao Paulo became a place for a group of intrepid explorers which became known as the Bandeirantes, and this lends it's name to the next stage in the development of Sao Paulo. The Bandeirantes would organize and run excursions into the interior with the sole purpose of making a profit and expanding the territory owned by the Portuguese crown. The excursions were initially for the discovery and conquest of unknown lands in the search of gold, diamonds, precious stones and Indians to make slaves of. The passing of time would witness the Bandeirtantes becoming politically powerful and expelling the Jesuits from the are after many conflicts over the use of Indians as slaves. On July 11th 1711 the town od Sao Paulo was elevated to city status. Just a few years late gold was discovered in the region near to the areas now known as Cuiabá and Golonia. In the late 18th century the gold ran out and trade focus shifted to Sugar which was then exported through port of Santos. Around this time the first modern highway was built to connect Sao Paulo with the coast. This highway was given the name the walk of Lorraine.. Independence from Portugal bought the Imperial period beginning around 1823. In 1827 a law school was founded on the site of an old convent. This became a part of what is now the University of Sao Paulo, and the ensuing influx of teachers and students gave the city a new impetus. The production of coffee and it's exportation was going to become a significant part of the local economy, alongside the convergence of many different rail lines. Coffee was to later become the engine for population and economic growth for the state of Sao Paulo. 1888 saw the advent of the "Golden Law" as decreed by princess Isabel which abolished slavery. As a direct consequence of this law and stimulus applied by government the region began to receive many immigrants, especially from Italy and Portugal. Around this time the first major industries began also to emerge and this provided jobs for the new immigrants. The old Republican stage begins on the 25th November with Brazil becoming republic on that date in the year 1888. Coffee was still a very import export and source of income for Sao Paulo while Minas Gerais had gained notoriety for it's dairy produce. For a time the two states took turns in electing presidents which became known as the coffee and milk period, as a result of industrialization one of the claims of fame for Sao Paulo was that of Smog. These industries have since long¡ gone and been replaced by the cleaner service industry, with law firms, consulting firms and financial institutions now taking precedence.Some cities around the State of Sau Paulo are still heavily industrialized, producing everything from chemicals to cars. The most recent period of history in the development of Sao Paulo is the 'Constitutionalist Revolution' of 1932. This is considered by many to be the last armed conflict to have taken place in Brazil's history. The uprising and it's quashing by government forces mark the end of the period now known as the 'Old Republic'.


The city of Sao Paulo is located on a plateau in the southeastern corner of Brazil about halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba. The region has two rivers flowing through it, both of which are subject to major clean up operations. No lakes exist here but there are reservoirs for the production of electricity, and the supply of water to the region. The region enjoys temperature averages similar to those of Los Angeles and Sydney with a humid subtropical climate. The tropic of Capricorn passes through the north of Sao Paulo dividing the tropical and temperate zones, however because of it's elevation Sao Paulo enjoys a temperate climate. Rainfall is abundant and usually occurs in the warmer months. Sao Paulo is known for it's rapidly changing weather and locals say that you can experience all four seasons in one day.
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After the abolition of slavery and the development of highways, allowing for increased freedom of movement, government initiatives to increase population for Sao Paulo, over time the city and the metropolitan region has become very diverse and is the most cosmopolitan city of Brazil. Over 80% of the residents that live there today are of foreign descent and the majority of these are of Italian descent. The main religion is Catholicism followed by Protestantism. The main language is Portuguese but the large Italian influence over time has given Sao Paulo a unique dialect and distinct accent. The city has a history of improvement projects but no real urban planning has taken place for the city This sets it apart from other major cities like Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. Sao Paulo has grown and developed through urban sprawl and the closest it has come to urban planning is the zoning of the city. Z1 for the elites and Z3 for other classes of resident.


Sao Paulo is considered to be the financial capital of Brazil, given that it is the centre for the headquarters of many major corporations, as well as home to the country's most reknowned banks and it's big financial institutions. The city is replete with 1500 bank branches and 70 shopping malls, home to Brazil's official stock exchange and is uniquely placed alongside all other Brazilian cities being noted for it's high number of foreign corporations. Over 63 percent of all international companies in Brazil have their headquarters in Sao Paulo.


Sao Paulo has a good education system and nine tenths of the population are literate. There is good representation of public and private, Primary and secondary schools with a good number of vocational (technical) schools. There are over 578 universities throughout the state of Sao Paulo.


For a good deal of Brazil's history it's own culture was tied to and paralleled that of Portugal until over the course of time a style  uniquely Brazilian emerged, it was a style influenced largely by African culture due simply to the large number of African slaves that found themselves living in Brazil. The influx of other Non Portuguese Europeans brought with them ideas and culture that became integrated the culture that today we regard as typically Brazilian. This culture has defied all attempts to ignore attempts to ignore it during it's early development, and even survived attempts to push it aside during a period when theatre attendees would only speak foreign languages, almost in ridicule of Brazilian culture, writing it off as unimportant. Time has shown that on the world stage, Brazil, and it's unique and colourful culture is indeed very important. 
It is believed that the first theatre performance in Brazil was held in Sao Paulo and was a play penned by José de Anchieta and watched by the Tupi-Guarani natives. Possibly during the Jesuit mission to evangelize the natives. It was during the second half of the 19th century that a cultural, musical and theatrical life emerged. The largest concentration of theatres, some 30 in total can be found in the district of Bixiga. Some of these are closed for refurbishment, and others for different reasons. The 1940's were the most important artistically for the theatres and in 1964 after the military coup plays were focused on Brazilian history.
Sao Paulo has some 10 notable museums which cover pretty much all aspects of life and periods of history including the development of it's culture and style. These include Museo Paulista, Fundaçao Cultural Ema Gordon Klabin, Memorial da América Latina, Museo da Imigraçao e Memorial do Imigrante, Museo de Zoologia da USP, Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo, Acervo do Palácio dos Bandeirantes, Pinacoteca, Oco do Ibirapuera, and the Museo da Imagem  e do Som.
 Tourism and Recreation
Sao Paulo is noted for it's diversity when it comes to food offered to the public covering everything from Chinese to French across more than 12,000 restaurants covering 62 different cuisines at all levels, from fast food food outlets to the luxurious five star establishments.
            Landmarks and Areas of Interest
      Municipal Theatre of São Paulo - magnificent opera house built in the early 20th century.  Museu de Arte Sacra - museum of religious art located in a colonial convent. Museu do Ipiranga - museum built where the Independence of Brazil was proclaimed in 1822.  Museum of the Portuguese Language - located inside Estação da LuzPátio do Colégio - founding site of the city, former Jesuit mission-school to convert the natives to Catholicism. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo - museum of Brazilian art. Praça da Sé - large square next to the São Paulo Cathedral. Official centre of the city.  Paulista Avenue - an important thoroughfare and the site of cultural centers and museums, such as the MASP and Centro Cultural Itaú). Brooklin - a financial and residential district. Banespa Building - skyscraper with observation deck and museum designed after the Empire State building.
Catedral da Sé - the metropolitan cathedral, a symbol of the city. Edifício Copan, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, in the Centro neighbourhood. Built between 1951 and 1966, its wavy shape gives the building an impression of movement and the integration of small businesses and residential flats are of innovative urbanismEdifício Itália - skyscraper with observation deck. Estação da Luz - historic railway station, built 1895–1901. Mooca - Italian district. Liberdade - Asian district. Mercado Municipal (historical market place in São Paulo).
Sao Paulo has some 38 different parks dotted around covering a massive area. Parque da Aclimação, inaugurated in 1939. Parque da Água Branca, inaugurated in 1929. Parque Alfredo Volpi, Parque Anália Franco,and, Parque Anhanguera, the latter was inaugurated in 1979. Parque Buenos Aires, inaugurated in 1913. Parque Burle Marx, inaugurated in 1995. Parque da Cantareira, inaugurated in 1963 and listed by UNESCO in 1994. Parque do Carmo, inaugurated in 1976. Parque Cidade de Toronto, Parque dos Eucaliptos, Parque Estadual Fontes do Ipiranga (also known as the state park). Parque Villa-Lobos, opened in 1994, and, Parque Ecológico da Vila Prudente. Parque Vila Guilherme, inaugurated in 1986, and Parque Vila dos Remédios. Parque Estadual do Jaraguá, created in 1961. Parque Ecológico do Guarapiranga, Parque Guarapiranga, Horto Florestal de São Paulo, and Ibirapuera Park which is the second largest park in the cityParque Nabuco, Parque Previdência, Parque do Piqueri, Parque Jardim Felicidade, and Parque Luís Carlos Prestes which opened in 1990. Parque Rodrigo Gásperi, Parque Raul Seixas, Parque Raposo Tavares, Parque Lina e Paulo Raia, Parque Trianon, inaugurated in 1892. Inaugurated in 1982, Parque Ecológico do Tietê. Parque Severo Gomes, Inaugurated in 1989. Last but by no means least, Parque Santa Amélia, Parque Santo Dias, and Parque São Domingos.

Zoos & More
The largest zoolgical park in Brazil is the one found in Sao Paulo covering an area of 824,529 m2 It is located at the headwaters of the Historic stream of Ipiranga on the southern side of the city. The Park is home to 3,200 animals, 216 species of birds, 102 species of mammals, 95 species of reptiles, 16 species of invertebrates, & 15 species of amphibians, all in enclosures that are carefully designed to replicate their natural habitats. The zoo has a farm of 572 hectares which is used to produce vegetables for the various animals, and materials for the different enclosures. The zoo also contains a nursery for neglected puppies, incubators for the eggs of birds and reptiles. The on site library has a collection of over 4000 volumes and is open to the general public. The zoological park over time has forged partnerships with other state, federal and, foreign research institutions with the aim of preserving endangered species. There is also a safari zoo located on the south eastern side of the city.
Home to 2 million litres of water in an area of 9,000 square metres the Aquário de Sao Paulo is the largest aquarium in Latin America. Located in the Ipiringa neighbourhood it cares for around 3,000 specimens across approximately 300 species. 

Roads - RCars are still the most common mode of transport in Sao Paulo with over 7 million being registered as of early 2011. This results in heavy congestion on the city's main avenues and traffic jams on the highways are common. The city of Sao Paulo is large and is crossed by 10 motorways linking it to other areas of the country and other state capitals. Among the most important, those to Brasilia and To Rio de Janeiro. Railway - Sao Paulo City has just two major railway stations, Luz and Julio Prestes. Historically Luz was the terminal used to transport international immigrants to Sao Paulo and the coffee plantations on the Jundiai line. The Julio Prestes terminal connected southwest Sao Paulo state and northern paraná state to the city of Sao Paulo. The building that is Luz station was actually made in Britain and assembled in Brazil. It contains an underground station, and is surrounded a number of significant museums and landmarks. to reduce journey times, relieve road congestion and improve city connections there are proposed upgrades to the rail system, including a high speed rail service between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Airports - Sao Paulo has two major airports, one serves 28 different countries internationally and the other serves domestic and regional flights. Garulhos is the international terminal and is located to the northeast of the city in the neighbouring city of Garulhos. Congonhas Airport originally designed to cope with 6 million passengers has been upgraded recently to better cope with and move that 12 million actual passengers that are passing through. It serves mainly Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Belo Horizonte. Garulhos currently has two terminals with a third underway with a goal of increasing passenger numbers to 45 million. The northern zone of Sao Paulo contains the Santana district where you will find a third airport, Campo de Marte, This is used for light aircraft and helicopters. Air taxi companies operate from here, as does the largest helicopter fleet in Brazil. Sao Paulo has the largest number of helicopters in the world; second and third place are taken by New York and Tokyo. These helicopters serve more remote inaccessible areas of Brazil via a network of remote helipads and ports. This airport is also home to the military and police fleets. Metro, Rail, and Bus. The Metro has five lines, and the surface rail 6 which along with the bus routes keep the city well connected internally wnad with other cities of the state. Planned upgrades to the transport system would put Sao Paulo ahead of London in terms of miles of track and number of passengers moved. There are more than 17,000 individual buses on the roads and it is possible to get the bus to four other  countries from Sao Paulo, these are Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Sao Paulo hosts around 30,000 different annual events every year covering, business, arts, fashion and more. These include: Carnival, an annual event for which Brazil is now world famous. In Sao Paulo, Friday and Saturday sees the Samba Parade in which lots of different samba schools get together for the Anhembi Sambadrome, which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Cultural Turn, which was inspired by la Nuit Blanche in Paris, this is an annual event which lasts for a period of 24 hours  and is non stop cultural activities. It is held every May. The different activities include music and dance shows, theatre plays , classical and orchestral performances, Poetry, cinema, and acrobatics performances, plus anime comic book fans meetings. The event is held across the downtown area in several different parts of the city as well as some cultural centres, schools, and clubs. The 2010 event attracted in the region of 4 million visitors. The Art Bienal, Fashion Week, is a relatively new addition to the annual calendar being established in 1996, and commencing under the name of Morumbi Fashion Brasil it is the most important fashion event of Latin America. Now renamed, the two events every year bring almost 100,000 visitors to the Bienal building in Ibirapuera park. Gay Pride Parade, the first of which took place in 1987 for 20,000 people. The event has grown, and now attracts more than 3.5 million people every year. The event is opened by the Mayor and the parade marches down the Paulista Avenue accompanied by Trio Elétricos. Since 2002 the Gay Parade has become part of a longer and wider cultural event that lasts for approximately a month. The Pancake Cook Off, held annually in the city centre every summer the event as the name suggests. From across Brazil thousands of amateur chefs descend on Sao Paulo, to participate in a number of competitions and contests all centred around the cooking of pancakes. March For Jesus, is an evangelical parade which is held on Corpus Christi Thursday every in Zona Norte. The March For Jesus Parade is organized by the Renascar em Cristo Church, which is a Neo Pentecostal denomination established in the 80's. The church has witnessed significant growth, especially in the first decade of the 21st century. According to official estimates, 2006 saw 2 million people taking part in this event. Evangelicals from across Brazil arrive in Sao Paulo for the annual march which takes place in June. The March passes through the financial capital of Brazil (Sao Paulo) and features 30 christian bands performing on 17 flatbed trucks. Biannually FENATRAN in October in the Park Anhembi hold an International Transport Industry Show. It presents new trends for the industry including truck manufacturers, fuel, components, and services such as finance and insurance. Sao Paulo International Film Festival, has taken place since 1976. CEntred around the development of technology there are two other festivals that need mentioning, the Electronic Language International Festival, & the Festival of Electronic Art.Other events include:
  • FIEPAG – International Printing Industry Fair
  • X-Games – Brazilian branch, held in April
  • In-Edit – Music documentary festival
  • Anima Mundi – International Animation Film Festival, held in July
  • Skol Beats – Electronic music festival, features famous Brazilian and foreign DJs from around the world. Held in May
  • Festa de Vila Zelina – Russian, Ukrainian and East European Festival in the district Vila Zelina
  • New Years Eve  – Held in Paulista Avenue, features free concerts and fireworks, for a gathering of up to a million people
  • Expomusic – Music and audio exposition, also features small shows and autograph sessions
  • É Tudo Verdade – Documentary film festival, held in March
  • São Paulo's International Marathon – Held in June
  • Feicorte – Livestock fair
  • CIOSP – International Dental Congress
  • Grande Prêmio São Paulo de Turfe – Equestrian competition, held in May
  • Saint Vitus Festival (Festival de São Vito) – Italian festival, featuring food and music. Held in June
  • Brooklinfest – German festival in October (district Brooklin Paulista)
  • Brasil Pack – International Packaging Fair
  • Achiropita Festival – Italian festival, featuring food and music. Held in August
  • Feira do Circuito das Malhas – Winter clothes baazar
  • Batuka! – Drummers festival, featuring workshops, presentations and a national contest
  • Japan Festival – Held in July
  • Bolivian Arts and Culture Festival

Football is as popular in Sao Paulo as it is all over Brazil. The city is playing it's part in the 2014 world cup event and the Arena Corinthians has been built specifically for the event. Other sports are significant to Sao Paulo and it is host to other big annual sporting events such as the Sao Silvestre road race and the Brazilian Grand Prix, everyone has heard of Ayrton Senna. Other sports important to the city and state are; volleyball, basketball, skateboarding and tennis. Other sports that must be mentioned due to Sao Paulo being the home of some very teams are; baseball, waterpolo, rugby union, handball, futsal and swimming. Sao Paulo has a long history of hosting international sporting events, and was previously the host city for the FIFA football world cup in 1950.