Prof. Marcelo Becker (D.Sc.)
São Paulo lives on a different rhythm than any other brazilian city. It has an enormous community of foreigners that elected it as their new home as well as for receiving various travelers that come to the city just to do business. Today, the city has a population of around 11 million inhabitants and is among the largest cities in the world.
The great attractions of the city are the historical buildings besides a huge amount of entertainment options. There are almost 300 projection rooms, more than 90 theaters and about 70 museums. It’s not by chance that it’s also considered the Brazilian capital of gastronomy. It’s easy to find good places that serve from typical dishes of various regions of the Brazil to dishes coming from far places. There are about 12,500 restaurants in São Paulo with around 46 kinds of cuisine. The best of all is that almost all of then are open 24 hours a day, or at least open until the last customer leaves.
But, São Paulo was not always like this. During the 16th century, the priests of “Company of Jesus” arrived at the plateau of Piratininga and built a jesuitic school. It was around the school that, in 1554, the biggest city in South America was founded.
During the first three hundred years of existence, São Paulo wasn't more than a small poor province where residents survived with agriculture while they tried to enslave the indians to help them on the sugar cane fields. The distance from the sea left the village commercially isolated, serving only as a starting point for the “bandeirantes” (explorers) that left towards to the interior of Brazil. The function of the explorers was to search for precious stones and to capture indians, taming the brazilian territory. Only in the middle of the 18th century the city started to prosper with coffee plantations. Several railways started to be built all over the São Paulo State in order to facilitate the coffee transport to the harbor in Santos, where it was shipped to Europe.
With the end of the
slavery in 1888 and the arrival of the immigrants for the farming, São
Paulo grew rapidly. The changes provoked an increase the commercial
establishments and residential districts. The prosperity was also noted
with the arrival of the electricity, the first cars and the
construction of larges feats like “Avenida Paulista” (Paulista Avenue)
and Viaduto do Chá (Chá Viaduct). After the instability
during the beginning of the 1930's the industry of São Paulo
started to prosper in detriment of agriculture. Mainly with the arrival
of automobile factories during the 1950's. he State became
one of the most industrialized of Brazil. Since then, São Paulo
grows up on an ungoverned rhythm, receiving people from all over the
world that helped the city to be what it is today.
Some symbols of São Paulo: Banespa Building, MASP, and the city skyline.
Ipiranga Museum and Luz Train Station.