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.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal,

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Selfie, Hida from Ancient and Medieval Japan
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Gothic couple

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Graciosa, Azores, Monte da Ajuda
Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

Finally, we will disembark in Graciosa, our ninth island in the Azores. Even if less dramatic and verdant than its neighbors, Graciosa preserves an Atlantic charm that is its own. Those who have the privilege of living it, take from this island of the central group an esteem that remains forever.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
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.
Impressions Lijiang Show, Yangshuo, China, Red Enthusiasm
Natural Parks
Lijiang e Yangshuo, China

An Impressive China

One of the most respected Asian filmmakers, Zhang Yimou dedicated himself to large outdoor productions and co-authored the media ceremonies of the Beijing OG. But Yimou is also responsible for “Impressions”, a series of no less controversial stagings with stages in emblematic places.
Thingvelir, Origins Democracy Iceland, Oxará
UNESCO World Heritage
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Bhaktapur, Nepal,

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
El Tatio Geisers, Atacama, Chile, Between ice and heat
El Tatio, Chile

El Tatio Geysers – Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

Surrounded by supreme volcanoes, the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Atacama Desert it appears as a Dantesque mirage of sulfur and steam at an icy 4200 m altitude. Its geysers and fumaroles attract hordes of travelers.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.