Curitiba, Brazil

The High-Quality Life of Curitiba

fastened by several wires
End of the day at Opera de Arame, one of the many original and emblematic architectural works of Curitiba
music and wine
Three young people liven up the fair in the "Italian" district of Santa Felicidade.
Colorful houses
Curitiba seen from Telepar's panoramic tower, now owned by the operator Oi.
“Ukrainian” church
The Orthodox Church of São Jorge, one of several built by the city's Orthodox Christian community.
architect's eye
The Oscar Niemeyer Museum or the architect's eye as it is more informally known by people from Curitiba.
Historic and less historic
Extreme contrast in the architecture of the center of the capital of Paraná.
Without hurry
Father and son rest in the shade of one of the city's numerous gardens.
market day
Goers liven up the Largo da Ordem market, one of the oldest areas in Curitiba.
It is not only the altitude of almost 1000 meters at which the city is located. Cosmopolitan and multicultural, the capital of Paraná has a quality of life and human development rating that make it a unique case in Brazil.

The evil days of rain had finally given themselves away.

Gifted by a radiant sub-tropical sun, we ventured into a fair held in the “Italian” district of Santa Felicidade.

There, out of step with passersby due to its anachronistic look, a picturesque trio plays classic rural wineries in Liguria.

We are animated by an accordion and a viola, and a vocalist in a beret who, throughout the performance, adopts a pose as trustworthy as his costume and keeps one hand in his pocket while, with the other, he holds a glass of wine.

music and wine

Three young people animate the fair in the “Italian” neighborhood of Santa Felicidade.

Largely residents of the “European” capital of Brazil, passersby recognize themselves in the atmosphere that the small trio recreates. They walk around and peek at each of the stalls with renewed interest.

They live together and taste what attracts them the most, including pine nuts of the most varied types.

The Portuguese Colonial Origin of Curitiba. Among Araucaria

Curitiba was founded by Portuguese settlers, in 1693, among thousands of imposing Araucaria pine trees. Its very name comes from this abundance. The Tupi Indians called it the land of pine nuts.

Curitiba, Paraná, Araucaria

One of the araucarias that once filled the highlands of the state of Paraná.

The Portuguese still tried to establish Vila da Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais but, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, it was already the Tupi name that was in force.

At that time, the coastal strip in the area was sparsely populated. The economy of the few Portuguese pioneers and caboclos here and there in conflict with the natives was based on the sale of wood and livestock.

But from 1853 onwards, by decree of the Emperor D. Pedro II, the region assured its autonomy from the province of São Paulo.

Curitiba, Paraná, engraving Frade

Engraving of a missionary active in southern Brazil.

The lack of labor proved to be so harmful that the governor encouraged the arrival of outsiders and joined the official program to promote European immigration.

The old continent was still plagued by social inequality and successive wars that fed poverty. Unsurprisingly, thousands of souls eager for similar incentives set sail for the South Atlantic.

And the Multicultural Migratory Influx that followed

In 1871, 164 Polish families arrived in Paraná, followed by Genoese and Ukrainians, the latter reinforced by two distinct waves after the end of both Great Wars.

"Ukrainian" church

The Orthodox Church of São Jorge, one of several built by the city's Orthodox Christian community.

During these periods, more Germans, Swiss, Slavs, Swedes and French settled, as well as Arabs from Lebanon and Syria, Dutch, Japanese and Spanish, to mention only the most represented communities.

The first of the flows provided a decisive stimulus in the use of fertile land.

The newcomers planted it with coffee, mate and soy in vast areas even in the interior of the state.

The Second Wave and the Recent Migration Reversal

Curitiba is located at the top of a large canyon that appeared on the route that linked São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul. At a time when coffee and cattle raising were emerging, it also became an unavoidable stop for the gauchos and their herds.

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, a new wave of Portuguese joined the pioneers who had occupied the coastal area of ​​Paranaguá. They headed for the interior attracted by the stimulus of the coffee plantations and settled in the current areas of Londrina, Maringá, Campo Mourão and Umuarana.

The irony of the ironies is that, today, when we meet Brazilians who moved to Portugal twenty years ago, many of those we know and talk to come from the same interior of Paraná where they were limited to subsisting with more and more difficulties. :

“oh you know Iguaçu, Londoner too, really?” asks us, surprised, the cashier of one of the fruit shops in Benfica where, during the summer, we stock up from time to time. “Look, I've lived all my life in Londrina, so close by, and I've never been able to go to Iguaçu…

When we had to decide, Brazil entered a serious crisis.

Despite Curitiba being well above most of the country, at that time, we already had acquaintances in Lisbon. Lisbon gave more guarantees.”

Curitiba: City with one of the Highest Quality of Life in Brazil

Later, we went up to Telepar's telecommunication and panoramic tower (today Oi, or even das Mercês) in the company of a local tourism employee.

Already oriented in professional terms, Delianne does not shy away from praising the urban setting in which she grew up, against the logic of the emigrant cashier we knew in Portugal: “It's a special place, Curitiba.

Colorful houses

Curitiba seen from Telepar's panoramic tower, now owned by the operator Oi.

Whoever manages to make a good life here, is really lucky. I wish all cities in Brazil were so safe and evolved.”

We unveil the front of moderate skyscrapers arranged in a more or less improvised way in the commercial district of almost megalopolis, the most evident proof of its already long prosperity.

From those heights, it is also easy for us to see how green spaces have become a kind of fetish at the expense of wildest urban speculation.

Curitiba, Paraná, Garden

Father and son rest in the shade of one of the city's numerous gardens.

In them, more than finding simple leisure retreats, the residents got used to living with their past and that of their fellow citizens.

Both the Brazilian and the previous one.

A Cultural and Ethnic Indigenous Legacy from the Four Corners of the World

We leave the lively market of Bairro da Felicidade and head to the huge Tingui Park. The park was dedicated to the Tupi-Guarani people.

This is proved by the bronze statue of the chief Tindiquera placed next to the entrance door. The statue reproduces the leader of the Tingui tribe (“sharp noses”) who controlled the region when the first Portuguese arrived there.

This tribute does not invalidate the presence of the Ukrainian Memorial, a wooden Orthodox church brought from the interior of the state to honor the flow of Ukrainian immigrants and that their descendants continue to visit to leave their prayers and written messages there.

Curitiba, Paraná, Ukrainian Memorial

We come across similar phenomena in the different forests in the surroundings attributed to the different communities of the city: they are both “Germans” and recount the history of the Grimm brothers, as they reveal themselves as “Italians” and house a huge pot of polenta, like the one that boiled at the Bairro da Felicidade fair.

There is also a Portuguese man, armed with eight pillars decorated with tiles with verses by illustrious Portuguese-speaking poets from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth centuries, which identify the PALOP's.

And a Pole, the case of the baptism in honor of Pope John Paul II after his visit to the city in 1980.

The Prolific Poles of Curitiba and Paraná in General

With the passage of time and the lack of knowledge of the European continent, the curious term was adapted by the people to define Brazilians with light hair and light eyes coming from Eastern Europe, not necessarily from Poland.

Clemente himself, the host with blood and Italian “singing” who helped us explore much of the state of Paraná, used the term to explain the normality of families that seemed to have left Kiev or Kaliningrad. “Hey, they're Polish, right?

Brazil is not just your descendants, black, Indian and mulatto. The southern Poles are like that.”

When the pretext is not ethnic, Curitiba builds and requalifies in the name of the arts, if so justified, without any pretext, as long as the work contributes to the dignification of the city and the people of Curitiba.

Opera de Arame, Niemeyer and the Futuristic Environment of Curitiba

Where there was an old quarry, the municipality built, in iron and glass, the exuberant Opera de Arame inspired by the one in Paris.

fastened by several wires

End of the day at Opera de Arame, one of the many original and emblematic architectural works of Curitiba

We pass by the Fanchette Rischbieter Botanical Garden, where a gleaming greenhouse is the heart of a space of about 25 hectares that concentrates the attributes of the regional flora and the main plants of Brazil.

And in the bold style that made the author famous, the Óscar Niemeyer museum – or “of the eye”, as it is locally known – appears semi-suspended for its architectural sophistication.

architecture, architecture, design, architectural works of the world, architects, architects, architecture & design, monumental architecture

The Oscar Niemeyer Museum or the architect's eye as it is more informally known by people from Curitiba.

These are some examples.

Curitiba's wealth and dynamism seem to have no limits. As a reward, in 2003, the UNESCO elected it as the American Capital of Culture.

The prize acted as an extra incentive. Since then, many more works and events have continued to justify and give meaning to the busy days of residents who sustain the fifth largest GDP in Brazil.

Counting on the futuristic tube bus stations where we wait, well sheltered from the rain, on the number of cyclists who traverse the vast network of local bike paths, it would be easier to say that we were in the Japan or in Berlin than in a Brazilian state capital.

Historic and less historic

Extreme contrast in the architecture of the center of the capital of Paraná.

Curitiba is a case apart.

Unlike what happened with neighboring São Paulo, with Rio de Janeiro and also with the youngest Brasilia, until a few decades ago, Curitiba had grown and reached almost 2 million inhabitants in an almost immaculate way.

Today, despite having given in to population pressure and the invasion of some favelas, it continues to stand out for a quality of life and diversity that is unique in the Brazilian territory and that respects its own historical background.

Curitiba, Paraná, tile panel

Tile painting brings more life to Curitiba.

Among so many daring gardens and monuments, we find time to pass Tiradentes Square, admire the Metropolitan Cathedral and proceed through the pedestrian tunnel to the old Largo da Ordem.

There, many of the city's centuries-old buildings have been restored and improved, and the black boardwalk serves as the basis for yet another market, this one beautiful and yellow.

market day

Goers liven up the Largo da Ordem market, one of the oldest areas in Curitiba.

It's the color of most of the houses that surrounds it and the stalls where some vendors set up their businesses, much more comfortable than dozens of other used clothes and books dealers who display them directly on the floor for consultation and bargaining with hundreds of squatters.

Next door, a shop distracts us, for a moment, from the fair and its charming genuineness.

The Portuguese pavement that precedes it, its name and the market in which they specialize, tell us, once again, a lot about Curitiba: “Gepetto: Toys”.

Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant, Brazil

Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant: Watt Fever

In 1974, thousands of Brazilians and Paraguayans flocked to the construction zone of the then largest dam in the world. 30 years after completion, Itaipu generates 90% of Paraguay's energy and 20% of Brazil's.
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
manaus, Brazil

The Jumps and Starts of the former World Rubber Capital

From 1879 to 1912, only the Amazon River basin generated the latex that, from one moment to another, the world needed and, out of nowhere, Manaus became one of the most advanced cities on the face of the Earth. But an English explorer took the tree to Southeast Asia and ruined pioneer production. Manaus once again proved its elasticity. It is the largest city in the Amazon and the seventh in Brazil.

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Goiás Velho, Brazil

A Gold Rush Legacy

Two centuries after the heyday of prospecting, lost in time and in the vastness of the Central Plateau, Goiás esteems its admirable colonial architecture, the surprising wealth that remains to be discovered there.
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Conflicted Way
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, City Gates
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel (Azores), Azores

The Great Azorean City

During the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, Ponta Delgada became the most populous city and the economic and administrative capital of the Azores. There we find the history and modernism of the archipelago hand in hand.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
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And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

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Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.
Africa Princess, Canhambaque, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau,
Africa Princess Cruise Part 1, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau

Towards Canhambaque, through the History of Guinea Bissau

The Africa Princess departs from the port of Bissau, downstream the Geba estuary. We make a first stopover on the island of Bolama. From the old capital, we proceed to the heart of the Bijagós archipelago.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
Natural Parks
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Gangtok House, Sikkim, India
UNESCO World Heritage
Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

Gangtok it is the capital of Sikkim, an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas section of the Silk Road, which became an Indian province in 1975. The city is balanced on a slope, facing Kanchenjunga, the third highest elevation in the world that many natives believe shelters a paradise valley of Immortality. Their steep and strenuous Buddhist existence aims, there, or elsewhere, to achieve it.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Surf Lesson, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
Djerba Island of Tunisia, Amazigh and its camels
Djerba, Tunisia

The Tunisian Island of Conviviality

The largest island in North Africa has long welcomed people who could not resist it. Over time, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs called it home. Today, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities continue an unusual sharing of Djerba with its native Berbers.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.