Monday, November 12, 2012

Paraty - Brazil

Brazil is on my must visit list, not because of the beaches or the nice weather, but i'm really interrested in visiting some natural and historical places. When it comes to historical places, Paraty is one of the cities i want to visit. These cards sent by Déa and Tito made me discover a bit more about the city, it's history and beauty. 

Design / Photo by H. Sealaender
Paraty is a coastal historic town in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was first settled by the Portuguese in 1667. Its old churches, cobbled streets and nearby forests, waterfalls, islands and emerald-green sea attract lots of tourists interested in mixing cultural tourism and more natural settings.
Paraty grew in the 18th century as a strategically important port for exporting the gold mined in Minas Gerais. When shipments in nearby Rio began to attract the attention and ambition of pirates and privateers from rival European powers, the Portuguese began using Paraty as their safe port for getting their gold to Lisbon. Together with Ouro Preto, the town was part of the Royal Road (Caminho Real or Caminho do Ouro, Gold Road), a route used to export gold in colonial times. It was also an obligatory sleep-over stop for travelers between Rio and São Paulo until the late 1800s, when the inner road was opened. This caused Paraty to be forgotten, stalled in time, away from "progress" and disfiguration and helped it preserve its old city as it was in the past. In the 1970s, it was rediscovered as a popular tourist destination. - in: wikitravel

 Design / Photo by H. Sealaender
Paraty is known for the cobblestone-paved streets throughout the Historic Center District.
Paraty has been able to maintain many of its historic buildings. Much of the architecture of the city has not changed for 250 years or more.
Once a month when there is a Full Moon and the tide is high, seawater rises from its normal levels, and pours into the Historic Center District through special openings in the seawalls separate the city from the harbor. The streets are only flooded for a short time, until the tide recedes. The water is usually only six to ten inches deep and a few merchants near the seawall put out small bridges to span the flooded streets for the benefit of pedestrians. - in: wikipédia

Photo by Tito Garcez
The authentic colonial beach town of Paraty is a history museum set in a tropical paradise surrounded by beaches and beautiful islands.
The typical colonial architecture has been preserved and Paraty is candidate for a UNESCO world heritage nomination.

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