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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
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.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Africa Princess, Canhambaque, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau,
Africa Princess Cruise, 1º Bijagos, 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.
Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Registration Square, Silk Road, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Uzbequistan

A Monumental Legacy of the Silk Road

In Samarkand, cotton is the most traded commodity and Ladas and Chevrolets have replaced camels. Today, instead of caravans, Marco Polo would find Uzbekistan's worst drivers.
Montserrat island, Plymouth, Soufriere volcano, buried houses
Plymouth, Montserrat

From Ashes to Ashes

Built at the foot of Mount Soufrière Hills, atop magmatic deposits, the solitary city on the Caribbean island of Montserrat has grown doomed. As feared, in 1995, the volcano also entered a long eruptive period. Plymouth is the only capital in a political territory that remains buried and abandoned.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
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.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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.
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.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Natural Parks
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
UNESCO World Heritage
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Australia Day, Perth, Australian Flag
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
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.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.