Did you know that there are many places in Brazil that have a European influence?
Brazil is typically associated with Christ the Redeemer, beaches, the Amazon jungle, and samba, but many people are unaware of the exotic and unique locations that exist there.
Brazil is a melting pot of ethnicities, and the nation still has a sizable European population.
Several areas in Brazil that have kept European architecture include the following:
In Brazil, there is a small part of the Netherlands
- In Paraná, one still finds a large number of Dutch immigrants who have preserved their culture to this day. Image source: Google
It is Possible to Experience Dutch Culture in Carambeí Historical Park
There’s something magical about this small town in the countryside of Paraná. Located in Campos Gerais and approximately 140 kilometres from Curitiba, Carambeí is just over 100 years old and home to Brazil’s largest open-air historical museum.
It’s worth a visit. On an area of 100,000 meters, the Carambeí Historical Park serves as a memorial to Dutch immigration. It is comprised of a large and exuberant garden as well as buildings that house the institution’s museum collection.
To spread and preserve the culture and history of their forefathers and foremothers, descendants of Dutch immigrants established the museum. The house of memory, the institution’s first museum wing, was inaugurated in 2001, and the Carambeí Historical Park complex was inaugurated in 2011 for the centenary of Dutch immigration in Campos Gerais. In less than ten years, the museum was confirmed as the region’s main tourist attraction.
Every year, the number of visitors who come to Carambeí from all over the country to see the Historical Park has increased, with the addition of visitors who come from other cities, states, and even other countries to discover this park, which has currently become one of the three most visited museums in Paraná, and the primary tourist attraction in Campos Gerais.
- Cambareí historical park, Visitors may get a feel for early 20th-century living while also learning more about the region’s Dutch history at this museum, image source: Trip Advisor
House of Memory
The open-air museum’s entrance is marked by an old masonry stable, built in 1946 by Dutch immigrants and now housing the House of Memory.
Tourists can view a magnificent model of the Carambei Colony on the site, as well as displays that capture different periods of its history in which the museum’s collection is presented.
A typical weekend lunch is served
The Koffiehuis, located on the same floor as the House of Memory, serves sweet pies made from centuries-old immigrant recipes and mouth-watering portions of traditional Dutch and Indonesian snacks.
The Europeans, who colonized Brazil, introduced a variety of influences to its regions. From then on, distinct elements of traditions and aesthetics were embraced, leading them to experience significant changes in their lives and resulting in a fusion that can still be seen today.
Among the many peoples that contributed to Brazil’s foundation, there are undoubtedly Europeans, since Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese.
The most famous legacy left by the Portuguese in Brazil is the language, which is not only the official language of Brazil, but also of many other nations that underwent the same colonization process. A significant portion of the Brazilian population is Catholic, a faith firmly rooted in Portugal’s history, left Brazil with its liturgical calendar, complete with processions, feasts, and festivals. Other regional traditional festivals such as bumba-meu-boi, cavalhadas, and fandango, to name a few, were heavily impacted by Portugal’s colonialism.
Le Corbusier was one of the most influential schools in Brazil, specializing in modernism; as a result, many young people interested in architecture were able to put their ideas into practice in public structures, as evidenced by Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s and Oscar Niemeyer’s work on the construction of Brazilia.
- The Baroque found fertile ground for a lush flowering in Brazil for most of the colonial period. Image source:www.hisour.com
There are a variety of factors that may affect a culture, particularly when it comes to historic interferences that can still be seen now, exhibiting specific traits that were introduced by other peoples. As a whole, Portuguese culture has been chastised for bringing many foreign influences into our nation, including the aesthetic trends of the Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Rococo periods, among others. Literature, music, sculpture, architecture, and painting in addition to the decorative arts that came with the colonial period have been strongly influenced by Portuguese art, which can be seen in the ornate decorative designs and the paintings that remain in the churches of the time. Such displays of wealth were prevalent until the foundation of Brazil as an independent nation, both in classical and popular art.
When it comes to literary works, it is easy to point out a plethora of European elements incorporated by Brazilian authors, particularly in literary schools and throughout their most famous periods, for example, in the Baroque period, we find strong European traits, such as increased sensitivity in linguistic expression and traces of colonialism.
The Letter by Pero Vaz de Caminha, the first artistic expression on Brazilian soil, was one of the 16th century’s watersheds, providing a detailed description of Brazil from the writer’s perspective, highlighting its positive aspects related to nature and the beauty of the landscape, but not forgetting the habits and customs of the people who were in Brazil before the Portuguese arrived.
This initial representation was not created by Brazilians, but it had a significant impact on others who came to study literature.
Soon after, many other literary styles, such as romanticism and neoclassicism, emerged, highlighting the differences between indigenous and white culture, all of which were influenced by colonialism. Tomás Antonio Gonzaga and Claudio Manoel da Costa were standouts at the time.
Later came realism and modernism, bringing with them more freedom of expression and form, but still with a connection to the European way of being and writing, and many writers, such as Machado de Assis, Aluzio de Azevedo, and many others, earned a prominent position in history.
However, it was not just the Portuguese who were responsible for continually expanding our cultural repertoire.
Given the different immigrant groups that came to Brazil over the course of a century, we can conclude that the Italians were by far the most numerous, particularly between 1870 and 1950. They chose Brazil as their home and many ended up in Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais, with the majority of them settling in the state of Sao Paulo.
Following the Italians, came more Portuguese in similar numbers as their home country went into decline. Germans gained importance as well, as they started to arrive in large numbers from 1824 attracted by a promise of land and a better life. In contrast to the others, they concentrated their efforts mostly in the Southern Region, transforming these areas into miniature versions of Germany.
Immigrants from Germany and Italy have left an indelible mark in southern Brazil, which can be seen in everything from food, language, and music to everyday elements of life. Other peoples, such as the Spaniards, Arabs, Japanese, and Polish, all had a significant part in the development of Brazilian culture, although to a smaller degree than the indigenous peoples themselves.
Consider visiting some Brazilian cities that will make you feel as if you are in Europe.
Serra-Gaucha (Rio Grande do Sul)
- Bento Gonçalves, a piece of Italy in Brazil. Image credit: omelhordaviagem.com
The Serra Gaúcha is a beautiful mountain range located north of Porto Alegre.
The scenery, which is especially attractive between Nova Petrópolis and Gramado, is distinguished by wooded slopes and surprising granite cliffs, which are often adorned with waterfalls.
The area was originally settled by German colonists (starting in 1824) and subsequently by Italian colonists (starting in the 1870s), and this history can still be observed today.
Despite the fact that the mountains do not rise much higher than 3280 feet (1000 meters), the architecture and ambiance of Gramado and portions of Canela are reminiscent of Swiss towns.
In Bento Gonçalves and the neighboring wine areas of Vale dos Vinhedos and Pinto Bandeira, descendants of Italian immigrants continue to bolster the wine industry’s impetus.
Blumenau, located in Santa Catarina
- Blumenau’s cityscape as seen from the highest point in the city. Image Source: Google
Founded by Germans, Blumenau is often seen as a European nation in South America. It’s obvious from its distinct architecture and the number of breweries in operation. Additionally, Blumenau hosts the world’s largest Oktoberfest, which draws thousands of visitors each year.
Pomerode Located in Santa Catarina
Blumenau, the city of barely 30,000 people, is regarded as the most German in the nation, with 70% of the population descended from the original founders of the city. They even have their own lingo.
Stately and welcoming, Pomerode is known for its classic German architecture and natural beauty. Villages in Europe are always buzzing!
Holambra is another little slice of Holland in the state of São Paulo. Everything in Holambra reminds us of the European country: the architecture, the cuisine, and the economy. This Brazilian city is inundated by visitors each September when the flower show Expoflora is in full bloom.
Minas Gerais, Monte Verde
Minas Gerais’s southern region, connected to the city of Camanducaia, is situated between the Serra da Mantiqueira’s heights. Along with its beautiful scenery and colonial-style buildings, one of the city’s primary draws is its warm temperature.
To reach Morretes, tourists must drive through the Estrada Graciosa, which was built in 1873 which immediately informs visitors of the destination’s attractiveness. The beautiful city, located on the shore of Paraná, is well-known for its ancient structures of European design.
São Paulo, Paranapiacaba
- Clock Tower and fog in the village of Paranapiacaba. Image Source: Juliana Bacci.
Paranapiacaba, located near Sao Paulo on the crest of Serra do Mar, is a legacy of the English who assisted in the building of the Sao Paulo Railway. The continuous mists that emerge are the cherry on top of the local architecture, which maintains the style of the queen’s realm.
- The Historic Centre of Penedo, Alagoas, is home to museums and churches dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, including the Church of Nossa Senhora da Corrente, located on Praça 12 de Abril. Image Source: https://viagemeturismo.abril.com.br/
Penedo, founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, retains a historical core with buildings in the conquering country’s style. It is regarded as Alagoas’ most attractive old city, owing to its architectural splendour and proximity to the Sao Francisco River.
Penedo, Rio de Janeiro
- Santa Claus Residence in Penedo Rio de Janeiro. Image Source: https://mapio.net/pic/p-71017491/
Another place called Penedo is home to Santa Claus’s residence, chocolate factory, and buildings in the European style. Colonized by the Finns in the 1920s, it has retained many of the immigrants’ customs and traditions, particularly in terms of cuisine. The colourful homes give this area a wonderful feel. Furthermore, the city boasts a Santa Claus house and several chocolate manufacturers, which strengthen the city’s Nordic Brazilian image. For children and adults alike, Christmas Town is a really enchanting location.
Santa Catarina, Pomerode
- Pomerode, a cidade mais alemã do Brasil. Image source:https://naturam.com.br/pomerode/
Pomerode also had a high number of German immigrants that lived in the area throughout the nineteenth century. Located in the heart of Vale do Itaja, it maintains Germanic architectural, gastronomic, and musical traditions.
- St. Joseph’s Parish highlights the Ukrainian culture in Prudentópolis. Image Source: AEN
Prudentópolis, a sliver of Ukraine in Brazil, is mostly populated by descendants of European immigrants. Even now, Ukrainian is spoken during local church services. There is also a strong presence of traditional gastronomy.
Campos do Jordão, São Paulo
- The Brazilian Switzerland, Campos do Jordão. Image Source: https://www.viator.com/
Campos do Jordão, located in Serra da Mantiqueira, in the heart of Sao Paulo, is known for its moderate temperature and charming architecture. The city is located at an elevation of 1628 meters, making it the highest municipality in Brazil.
Canela, Rio Grande do Sul
- Canela, Rio Grande do Sul. Image Source: https://malaprontagramado.com.br/canela/
Canela, another slice of Europe in Brazil, is also situated in the Rio Grande do Sul mountain range. Along with excellent restaurants and beautiful inns, the city is home to some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions, including Parque do Caracol and Alpen Park.
Important information due to Covid-19
Detailed Tourist Information on Entry via air
Brazil has temporarily banned all direct flights from or through the United Kingdom as of 25 December 2020, and has temporarily suspended authorization for foreigners who have been in the United Kingdom for the preceding 14 days to board aircraft to Brazil. Some individuals or families are excluded from this law, such as permanent residents, close relatives of Brazilian citizens (spouses, children, and parents/guardians), and government employees with diplomatic status. In Brazil, you must quarantine yourself for 14 days before you are eligible for this exemption. Some British citizens have been unable to board flights because of airlines’ decisions. Before purchasing a ticket, please verify with the airline to see whether you will be permitted to board.
Regular entry requirements apply. Anyone who is flying to Brazil should provide proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of booking a flight in English, Spanish, or Portuguese upon checking in with the airline. Exempting youngsters less than two from a need to show a negative test applies regardless of a child’s ability. Also exempt from immunization requirements are children between the ages of 12 and 16 who are accompanied by at least one adult who has evidence of a negative test.
Beginning on December 30, 2020, all visitors to Brazil will be required to submit a Travelers Health Declaration form (https://formulario.anvisa.gov.br/?lang=en) within 72 hours of boarding their flight. Doing this online is possible. The English version is accessible here.
Entering the country via land
Brazil has restricted certain land borders to everyone except Brazilian citizens, foreign residents, and foreign spouses, children, parents, or guardians of Brazilian citizens. The land border with Paraguay has been reopened.
Additionally, the Brazilian government has prohibited foreign nationals from disembarking at any port or other marine site on Brazilian territory.
Foreign residents and the foreign spouses, children, parents, and custodians of Brazilian nationals are exempt from the limitation.
Disembarking is only allowed for medical reasons or to catch a connecting flight back home.
Reasons for Lockdown
Restrictions vary by city.
Facial masks must be worn on the streets, in public parks, and on public transportation, including taxis.
While there are no additional local requirements for the compulsory use of masks in other places, such as shops and gyms, in various cities including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília, additional local requirements apply in certain cities, including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília.
On a national level, social isolation has been reduced to some extent, although lockdowns in certain areas of the country persist.
It is recommended that you review government guidelines for relevant information in your area.
You will be fined if you do not comply with these regulations.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, each state is taking various local steps, including restricting the operation of non-essential services (shops, restaurants, bars, beaches, and other leisure activities).
When you need more information on what preventive measures are in place and how you may comply with them, please refer to official advice in your area.
People’s locations where they are expected to congregate in large numbers may be shut down at short notice.