Curitiba’s Historic District

November 12, 2016

Our plan today was to walk around the Setor Histórico downtown.  Although it was cool, rain was no longer in the forecast.

First we stopped at Clube Curitibano, which I wrote about in another post.

Leaving the Clube Curitibano property, we walked through a plaza of white and black mosaic tiles, lined with colorful colonial style buildings (some original, some newer) and down similarly paved streets, with few cars going through.

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Historic center view – photo by Dale Berman

There weren’t many people on the streets either, probably partly because of the weather but mainly because it’s a holiday weekend. Tuesday is 15 de novembro, a national holiday, and many people take Monday off to make a 4-day weekend so they can go out of town.

Largo da Ordem square

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A grey building with a tall cupola topped with a cross was the Presbyterian Church, built in 1934.  Eliane’s grandparents and I think her parents too were married in that church, although the family is not religious and doesn’t attend regular services.

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Presbyterian Church, built 1934

One of the plazas in this area, Largo da Ordem, has a large round flower clock in the center that really move around it tell the time.  On one side of the plaza are original old buildings and on the other side are only old-style buildings – replicas of colonial buildings.

The historic buildings are always the most colorful.
Largo da Ordem with flower clock

We saw another church, light blue with Portuguese tiles bordering the doorway, simply decorated inside.

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Colorful mural
Colorful murals on the side of a building

On the far side of Largo da Ordem, on Doutor Claudino Street is the modern Memorial da Cidade, built in 1996 to resemble the typical araucária pine tree of Paraná. Inside this structure, lit by the open skylight roof, are expositions and shopping stands.

Eliane looks at craft items for sale inside the Memorial da Cidade.

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In a way it reminded me of the shopping exposition in Patio Batel mall – a large, round room containing many independent vendors and a musical group – well, actually it was only a DJ while we were there, but there is a tiny raised stage for musicians, front by large white letters ELIXIR.

A winding metal stairway leads to temporary art exhibits – in this case, wood-carved busts and statues of famous people, a photography exhibit and modern art by an Afro-Curitiban artist.

At the end of the hall with the photography and modern art were two altar pieces from the Capela dos Fundadores and a ceiling mural.

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We looked down on the shopping vendors on the ground circular floor from the open second floor; through the window behind us we could see a mural behind the German restaurant next door.

Looking down on the vendor tables.

Entrance to German restaurant next door.Rising upward from the lower level and reaching as high as the upper level was a large metal statue of a dragon-like creature made of wire.

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Leaving Memorial da Cidade, we walked down Largo da Ordem, taking pictures of the colorful Portuguese colonial style buildings and balconies.  Balconies decorated with beautiful flowers.We came to another church, Igreja da Ordem, dating from 1737, very simple in style both outside and in.

Igreja da Ordem
Igreja da Ordem, built 1737, the oldest standing place of worship in Curitiba. It was restores in 1880 and in 1978, year of the first Festa da Ordem.
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Interior of Igreja da Ordem. Dale took this photo before I told him not to take any more inside.

Although it didn’t say photography was forbidden, I didn’t take any pictures inside and told Dale not to because people were in the church praying in quiet solitude, and I doubted they would appreciate hearing the clicking of camera shutters.

Across from this church stands the city’s oldest building.  We didn’t go inside, although it had some historical information on display – Eliane didn’t want to linger because she thought it might rain.

Curitiba's oldest building, now a small museum.

We eventually got to Praça Tiradentes, but didn’t stop to look at the statues of Brazilian heroes, and the Catedral Metropolitana. 

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Praca Tiradentes with tourism bus stopped in front

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Decoration over the door
Catedral Metropolitana – detail over entrance

The cathedral’s peach-colored façade is highlighted by an arched doorway striped in red and blue with a round stained glass window above it.  We didn’t take pictures inside it, either, because a mass was going on. Although its altar was more elaborate than the other churches around there, it was also not as gold and grandiose as you find in churches in Bahia, remarked Eliane.

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Taking pictures in front of the cathedral (photo by Dale Berman)

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We walked by Rua das Flores but didn’t walk down it.

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Rua das Flores

We entered another old building, the Paço da Liberdade,  and went to a coffee shop-school (a training school for baristas), called Café do Paço, which was the subject of a previous post.

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Paço da Liberdade

The building used to be the seat of the municipal government, but now it is preserved as a national, state, and local monument and currently houses a cultural center. In the coffee shop, we had elegantly prepared coffees and pastries.  We took turns with the guys going up to the third floor to go to the bathrooms – and each floor had many steps, but we walked rather than take the elevator!

Next: Mercado Municipal

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