Curitiba in Brazil

18 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  6 minutes

Federal University of Paraná, the first university in Brazil © Thomoesch

Federal University of Paraná, the first ever opened university in Brazil © Thomoesch

Curitiba is the capital and largest city in the state of Paraná in Brazil. The city’s population was 1,963,726 as of 2021, making it the eighth most populous city in Brazil and the largest in Brazil’s South Region. The Curitiba Metropolitan area comprises 29 municipalities with a total population of over 3,731,769 (IBGE estimate in 2021), making it the ninth most populous metropolitan area in the country.   read more…

Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasília

15 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

National Congress of Brazil © flickr.com - Marcelo Jorge Vieira/cc-by-sa-2.0

National Congress of Brazil © flickr.com – Marcelo Jorge Vieira/cc-by-sa-2.0

Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Plaza) is a plaza in Brasília, the capital of Brazil. The name is derived from the presence of the three governmental powers around the plaza: the Executive, represented by the Palácio do Planalto (presidential office); the Legislative represented by the Congresso Nacional (National Congress); and the Judiciary, represented by the Supremo Tribunal Federal (Supreme Federal Court).   read more…

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

29 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

© flickr.com - Sergio Luiz/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Sergio Luiz/cc-by-2.0

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese: Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro) is a festival held every year before Lent; it is considered the biggest carnival in the world, with two million people per day on the streets. The first Carnival festival in Rio occurred in 1723. The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats, and adornments from numerous samba schools which are located in Rio (more than 200 approximately, divided into five leagues/divisions). A samba school is composed of a collaboration of local neighbours that want to attend the carnival together, with some kind of regional, geographical and common background. There is a special order that every school has to follow with their parade entries. Each school begins with the “comissão de frente” (meaning “Front Commission”), that is the group of people from the school that appear first. Made of ten to fifteen people, the comissão de frente introduces the school and sets the mood and style of their presentation. These people have choreographed dances in elaborate costumes that usually tell a short story. Following the “comissão de frente” is the first float of the samba school, called “abre-alas” (“Opening Wing”). These are followed by the Mestre-sala and Porta-Bandeira (“Master of Ceremonies and Flag Bearer”), with one to four pairs, one active and three reserve, to lead the dancers, which include the old guard veterans and the “ala das baianas”, with the drum line battery at the rear and sometimes a brass section and guitars.   read more…

São Marcelo Fort in Salvador da Bahia

26 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© JLPizzol/cc-by-sa-4.0

© JLPizzol/cc-by-sa-4.0

São Marcelo Fort (Portuguese: Forte São Marcelo), also known as Forte de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo e São Marcelo or Forte do Mar, is located in Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. It is located in small bit of land off the coast in the Baía de Todos os Santos. Standing on a small bank of reefs about 300 metres (980 ft) from the coast, it is one of two forts separated by water from land in Brazil, the other being the Fort Tamandaré da Laje Tamandaré in Rio de Janeiro. It is the only cylindrical fort in Brazil. Its design follows those of Castel Sant’Angelo in Italy and Fort of São Lourenço do Bugio in Portugal. It is popularly known as the “Forte do Mar” (Fort of the Sea). It was built to protect the important port city Salvador from threats; the city had the largest number of forts during the colonial period of Brazil. The São Marcelo Fort was listed as a historic structure by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) in 1938. The fort is closed to the public due to construction works. It opened to the public in 2006 after a long period of restoration, but closed again in 2018.   read more…

Theme Week Uruguay – Rivera

22 August 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

View of Rivera, as seen from Cerro Marconi © Mx. Granger

View of Rivera, as seen from Cerro Marconi © Mx. Granger

Rivera is the capital of Rivera Department of Uruguay. The border with Brazil joins it with the Brazilian city of Santana do Livramento, which is only a street away from it, at the north end of Route 5. Together, they form an urban area of around 200,000 inhabitants. As of the census of 2011, it is the sixth most populated city of Uruguay.   read more…

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

6 July 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Jorge Morales Piderit

© Jorge Morales Piderit

Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, created by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 metres (98 ft) tall, excluding its 8-metre (26 ft) pedestal. The arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide.   read more…

Manaus, capital city of Amazonas

8 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  14 minutes

Teatro Amazonas © Pontanegra/cc-by-sa-2.5

Teatro Amazonas © Pontanegra/cc-by-sa-2.5

Manaus is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. It is situated near the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers. With a population of more than 2 million, it is the most populous city of both the Brazilian state of Amazonas and the Amazon rainforest. Due to the great economic power and tourism it is the fourth richest city in Brazil, after São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. The city was founded in 1693–94 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro. It was elevated to a town in 1832 with the name of “Manaus”, an altered spelling of the indigenous Manaós peoples, and legally transformed into a city on October 24, 1848, with the name of Cidade da Barra do Rio Negro, Portuguese for “The City of the Margins of the Black River”. On September 4, 1856 it returned to its original name.   read more…

Eixo Monumental in Brasilia

14 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture Reading Time:  9 minutes

Eixo Monumental © Governo do Brasil - Portal da Copa/cc-by-3.0-br

Eixo Monumental © Governo do Brasil – Portal da Copa/cc-by-3.0-br

The Monumental Axis (“Eixo Monumental” in Portuguese) is a central avenue in Brasília‘s city design. The avenue begins on the National Congress of Brazil building and is considered part of the DF-002 road. Its first section is known as “Ministries Esplanade” (“Esplanada dos Ministérios”), as it is surrounded by ministries buildings. Many important government buildings, monuments and memorials are located on the Monumental Axis. A common urban legend persists that the Monumental Axis is the widest road in the world, where “[100 to 160] cars can drive side by side”. This is untrue, as the road consists of two avenues with six lanes on either side; a total of twelve lanes. However, the street has been featured in the Guinness Book of Records as having the widest central reservation of a dual carriageway in the world.   read more…

Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro

10 August 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Charlesjsharp/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Charlesjsharp/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Belmond Copacabana Palace is a luxury hotel located on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel is widely considered as South America‘s premier hotel, and has received the rich and famous for over 90 years. It faces the coast, and consists of an 8-story main building and a 14-story annex. The Art Deco hotel was designed by French architect Joseph Gire. It has 216 rooms (148 in the main building and 78 in the annex), a semi-olympic swimming pool, an exclusive swimming pool for VIP guests located at the penthouse, a tennis court, fitness center, a 3-story spa, three bars all of them inside the respective restaurants, one with Italian food, one with pan-Asiatic and other with international food. It was inaugurated on August 13, 1923. It was featured in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio.   read more…

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