Sunday, May 21, 2006

Bandeiras

This one I took from the bus, and my not being a photoshop expert, I couldn't get rid of the reflections on the window. Marcos, I need help! :)

Monumento às Bandeiras

São Paulo was founded in 1555, by Jesuit priests who built a school (located downtown and that amazingly still exists). Back then, not much happened in São Paulo. We were basically a bunch of priests and native people being slaved (or converted to Catholicism, so they would be "real people", as they thought back at the time). São Paulo is up in the mountains - okay, the mountains may not be that high - 760 m above sea level (2,493 feet), but it was right in the middle of the tropical forest, so you can imagine how hard it was for people to get here.

Maps:
  1. A map of Brazil, where you can see where we are.
  2. Here you can check a map showing Mata Atlântica - how much of it we had back then in light beige; in brown, what's left of the forest.
Anyway, after some time, people living in São Paulo organized - with or without help from Portugal - many expeditions to the country side (heh) and were lucky enought to find gold and precious stones (and also to capture natives to work as slaves). These expeditions helped us form the borders of the country and, of course, got the attention of Portugal to Brazil.

The monument shown in these pictures shows an expedition like that. If you click on them to see a larger version, you'll see natives, horses - although I think they used mules and not horses, "white people", etc.

Monumento às Bandeiras

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