name = Belém
settlement_type = Municipality
official_name = The Municipality ofBelém do Pará
nickname = "Cidade das Mangueiras" ("City of Mango Trees")
motto = Os Estados do Norte estão conosco e nos seguem (Northern states are for us and follow us)
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Belém in the morning
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Belém in the
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Region
subdivision_type2 = State
subdivision_name = flag|Brazil
subdivision_name1 = North
leader_name = Duciomar Costa (PTB)
established_title = Founded
January 12, 1616
area_total_km2 = 1070
population_total = 1,408,847
population_density_km2 = 1322
utc_offset = 3
latd= |latm= |lats= |latNS=
longd= |longm= |longs= |longEW=
elevation_m = 10
blank_name = HDI (2000)
blank_info = 0.806 – high
website = [http://www.belem.pa.gov.br Belém, Pará]
Belém is city of
Amazonia, in the northern part of Brazil. It is the capital of the state of Pará. It is the entrance gate and, together with Manaus, Belém, is one of Brazil's busiest ports - about 60 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. The river is the Pará, part of the greater Amazon Riversystem, separated from the larger part of the Amazon delta by Ilha de Marajó ( Marajo Island). Belém is built on a number of small islands intersected by channels and other rivers. [ [http://www.planetware.com/brazil/belem-bra-pa-b.htm Belem, Brazil ] ]
1616, Belém was the first European colony on the Amazon but didn't become part of the Brazilian nation until 1775. Its metropolitan area has approximately 2.09 million inhabitants. It is also known as Metropolis of the Brazilian Amazon region or "Cidade das Mangueiras" (city of mango trees) due to the number of those trees found in the city. The newer part of the city has modern buildings and skyscrapers. The colonial portion retains the charm of tree-filled squares, churches and traditional blue tiles. Belém is served by the Val de Cães International Airport (BEL) that connects the city to the rest of the country and other cities in South America. Brazilians often refer to the city as Belém do Pará ("Belém of Pará") rather than just "Belém" so as to differentiate it from Bethlehemin Palestine.
Belém is a
rainy and hot city. Humidityis very high. The climate is equatorialwhich means there is little variance from day to day. The wettest months are between Januaryand May. [ [http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/a/BraBelem.htm Belem, Brazil ] ]
The city is home to the Federal University of Pará. The city has a rich
historyand architecturefrom colonial times, a natural rubberboom, World War II, 1960-70s Amazonic rediscovery and, recently, a skyscraperboom.
The city was founded on
January 12, 1616by Captain Francisco Caldeiras de Castelo Branco, who was sent by the Portuguese crown to defend the region against French, Dutch and British colonisation attempts. For this purpose, he built a fortress called "Forte do Presépio" (currently called "Forte do Castelo"). Initially, the city was named "Feliz Lusitânia". Later it was renamed to "Santa Maria do Grão Pará" as well as "Santa Maria de Belém do Grão Pará", finally receiving its current name "Belém".
Remote from the rest of the county and strongly linked to
Portugal, Belém accepted Brazil's independence only in August 1823, nearly one year after its declaration.
In 1720, the city was made the seat of the
Diocese of Belém do Pará. In 1835 it was a town of about 13,000, and extended on a grid pattern for a mere eight or nine blocks from the banks of the Pará River. A small hill overlooking the main harbour was topped by a colonial Portuguese fort and shore batteries. Between 1835 and 1840 Belém witnessed the "Revolta dos Cabanos" also known as the "Cabanagem", a revolt considered to have had the most authentic popular participation in the country's history. Due to the growing importance of rubber ("Hevea brasiliensis") from the end of the 19th until the beginning of the 20th century, Belém became a very important marketplace. During this period many important buildings were constructed, such as " Palácio Lauro Sodré", " Colégio Gentil Bitencourt", " Teatro da Paz", " Palácio Antônio Lemos" and the " Ver-o-Peso" market. The " Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi" in Belém was renovated at this time also, although it had been founded in 1866. Snakes -- including one convert|10|ft|m|sing=on anaconda-- are increasingly invading Belém, driven from the rain forestby destruction of their natural habitat, the government's environmental protection agency said March 11 2008. [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/03/11/brazil.snakes.ap/index.html]
south, 48° 29' west. As of 2004, the population is 1.421 million, which makes Belém the 10th largest city in Brazil. The metropolitan region's population is approximately 2.100.000, making it the tenth largest metropolitan region in Brazil. The southern channel of mouth of the Amazon lies just to the north of the city, as does the Island of Marajó.
equatorial climateis a type of tropical climatein which there is no dry season. All months have mean precipitationvalues of at least 60 mm. It is usually found at latitudes within five degrees of the equator– which are dominated by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. is the natural vegetation in equatorial regions.
The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining
rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforestin the world. Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome, and tropical forests in the Americasare consistently more species rich than the wet forests in Africaand Asia.Turner, I.M. 2001. "The ecology of trees in the tropical rain forest". Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-80183-4] As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the Americas, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity. More than 1/3 of all species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest. [ [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildplaces/amazon/index.cfm Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Plants, Amazon River Animals] ] The largest biodiversityof the planetis present across the State of Amazonas.
Tourism and recreation
Among Belém's main tourist attractions are:
Bioparque Amazonia ZOO
Rodrigues Alves Wood–Botanic Garden
Inspired by the "Bois de Boulogne" Park in
Paris), the Rodrigues Alves Wood is a little piece of Amazonia preserved in the middle of the city. Comprising of 16 hectares, in the ample Avenida Almirante Barroso – one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares – having 2.500 native species, an orchidary, lakes, caverns, waterfalls and even a replica mountain. There you can see small animals characteristic to the region, such as squirrel monkeys agoutis and macaws.
The Estação das Docas Complex
The Estação das Docas Complex reopened the
windows of Belém to Guajará Bay. The restoration project covers the area of old warehouses of the Pará Docks Company. Constructed from prefabricated metal structures in Englandand that were built at the beginning of the twentieth Century in Belém. There are 18 thousand square meters of urbanised area, with coffeebar services, various restaurants, stores, travel agencies, banks, in addition to an auditoriumand two memorials: The Porto Memorial and the Fortaleza de São Pedro Nolasco Memorial There is, also, a fluvial station and extensive external area.
Mercado Ver-o-Peso (Check-the-weight Market)
Created in 1688, as a result of the Portuguese deciding to levy a tax for everything entering and leaving Amazonia. Despite resembling a large retailer, the mixture of colours, fragrances and objects is very interesting as well as
folkloric. Medicinal herbs, various regional fruits, arts and crafts, domestic utilities, meats, fishand seasonings and spices can be found there. The Market brings together two thousand stalls and traders in every part and is located near to the old Mercado de Ferro (Iron market), on the quays.
* [http://www.ufpa.br/ Universidade Federal do Pará] (UFPA);
* Universidade do Estado do Pará (UEPA);
* Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia (UFRA);
* Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica do Pará (CEFET/PA);
* and many others.
Primary and secondary schools
*Centro de Serviços Educacionais do Pará - CESEP - Private;
*Colégio Nossa Senhora do Carmo - Private;
*Escola de Aplicação da Universidade Federal da Pará [http://www.escoladeaplicacao.ufpa.br] - EA-UFPA - Public;
*Grupo Educacional Ideal - GEI - Private;
*Colégio Gentil Bittencourt - Private
*Colégio Impacto - Private;
*Colégio Marista Nossa Senhora de Nazaré - Private;
*Colégio Madre Celeste - Private;
*Colégio Moderno - Private;
*Colégio Sophos - Private;
*Colégio Santo Antônio - Private;
*Colégio Santa Catarina de Sena - Private;
*Colégio Santa Rosa - Private;
*Colégio Acrópole - Private;
*Colégio Teorema - Private;
*Instituto Dom Bosco - Private;
*Instituto Adventista Grão Pará - IAGP - Private;
*Instituto Catarina Labouré - Private;
*Colégio Estadual Paes de Carvalho - Public;
*Escola de Ensino Fundamental e Médio "Tenente Rêgo Barros" - Public/Military School;
*Instituto de Educação do Pará - IEP;
*Sistema de Ensino Universo - Private.
*Maria Luiza da Costa Rêgo (Bengui) - Public.
Círio de Nazaré
The biggest feast in Pará State happens there, Círio de Nazaré (Nazareth Taper). Festivities start on the second Sunday in the month of October and pay homage to Our Lady of Nazareth, patron saint of the State. Organised since 1793, at present it gathers around 1,5 million of followers, who go on a procession through the city on a huge suite to the Nazaré
Basilica, where the image is honored. Círio de Nazaré is like Christmas for Paraenses, and special foods such as Maniçobaand Pato no Tucupi are eaten on this occasion.
Besides all the natural wealth, the State of Pará also shelters a valuable cultural treasure, about 40 indigenous groups, scattered through and area of over 23 million hectares. Of these, more than eight million have been delimited by Funai (National Foundation of the Indian), ensuring security and preservation of that space. Among the biggest
indigenouscommunities there are the Andira Marau, Munduruku and the Kayapó.
The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is
carnivaltime in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets.
Belém International Airporthas been an example of the standard Infraeroimplements at its airports. Standing out in the midst of the Amazon vastness, the building designuses plane curves on its roof to permit light to enter its entire large terminal hall. The architectSérgio Parada used his creativity to adopt multiple-use totems integrated with light projectors, a sound system, air conditioningand public telephones. Currently Belém International Airport serves demand of 2.7 million passengers a yearin a constructed area of 33,255.17 square meters. Traditionally called Val-de-Cans Airport, it is responsible for increasing tourismin the region, as well as for the outflow of products and attracting new investments. The passenger terminal is fully air conditionedon two levels and has futuristic architecture, designed to take advantage of natural lighting. Peoplewith special needs have individualized service with own equipment at specific locations to facilitate their circulation. The terminal’s interior is decorated with plants native to the Amazon regionand is enclosed by a source able to imitate the sound of the rains that fall every day in the region.
Main access to Belém is through the BR-153 motorway, better known as the Belém-Brasília motorway, and from BR-316, coming from northeast Brazil.
Manaus: 96 hours by boator ferry;
*Marabá: 353 miles (568 km);
*Altamira: 483 miles (777 km);
São Luís: 499 miles (803 km);
Teresina: 566 miles (911 km);
Brasília: 1.326 miles (2,134 km);
São Paulo: 1.844 miles (2,967 km);
Rio de Janeiro: 2.017 miles (3,246 km).
Portof Belém has restaurants, artgalleries, a small beerfactory, ice-cream shops, artisanship stands, regional foodkiosks, coffeehouses, a space for fairs and events, a theatrefor 400 spectators and a touristic harbour.
* [http://www.webbusca.com.br/pagam/guia_belem.htm Belém Yellow Pages (in Portuguese)]
* [http://www.flickr.com/groups/belem Pictures from Belém]
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