Brazil travel guide



Curitiba Travel Guide

Curitiba Travel Guide

Curitiba is the largest city in the prosperous South region, and its population is largely descended from German, Ukranian, Russian, Italian and Polish immigrants. The city is known to urban planners worldwide for its innovative public transit system.

The city of Curitiba provides the world with a model in how to integrate sustainable transport considerations into business development, road infrastructure development, and local community development.

Curitiba is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. In 2005 its population was approximately 1,757,904 people. Its metropolitan area comprises 26 municipalities with a total population of over 3.2 million (2006 IBGE estimate). Curitiba is the largest and one of the most important cities of Southern Brazil, being a cultural, political and economic center. Curitiba's main airport Afonso Pena International Airport is one of the most modern Brazilian terminals and the second most important airport in Southern Brazil.

The city is on a plateau 932 m (3107 ft) above sea level. It is 105 km (65 miles) west of the sea port of Paranaguá, at 25°25'47?S, 49°16'19?W, .

People from Curitiba are known as Curitibanos.

One theory about the name "Curitiba" comes from the Tupi words kurí tyba, "much pine," due to the large number of Brazilian Pines (Araucaria angustifolia), in the region prior to its foundation. The Portuguese who founded a village in 1693 gave it the name of "Vila da Nossa Senhora da Luz dos Pinhais" (Our Lady of the Light in the Pine Forest). The name was changed to "Curitiba" in 1721.

Curitiba officially became a town in 1842. Growth was based on the cattle trade, being half way between cattle breeding country to the South and markets to the North. Waves of European immigrants started arriving after 1850, mainly Germans, Italians, Poles and Ukrainians. The Universidade Federal do Paraná (Federal University of Paraná), the first in Brazil, was established in Curitiba in 1913, the same year in which electric streetcars were first deployed.

The City of Curitiba

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