Our unexplored city

Sao Paulo, one of the biggest cities in the world… It has so many known attractions that many people, locals and tourists, visit on a daily basis. But what about the unknown wonders of this massive city?

Parque Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Park)

by Marcelo Squillaci and Lucas Catarino

Project Our City - Blog (26 de mar de 2018 16_55)We visited Parque Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Park) and we’d like to talk to you about it. The park project was first started in 1912, when Raymundo da Silva Duprat was São Paulo’s mayor. The park was built in the central area of São Paulo, more specifically in Higienópolis.

The main objective of the park was to create a place that is public and everyone that goes there can have a nice time.

The park is recommended for every kind of people that want to play with their dogs, do some exercice, play games, or even just chat with their friends.

The park has always been famous, but 2 years ago (2016) people started to see it from a different point of view. After PokémonGo was created, people from all ages got more involved in going and visiting the park because it is one of the spots the players can get more points and achievements.

Parque da Juventude (Youth Park)

by Giovanna Boscolo and Maya Goldenberg

Project Our City - Blog (27 de mar de 2018 16_35)This park is the result of a process that began in 1999 with a project for the transformation of the largest penitentiary complex in Latin America, the Carandiru. It was transformed into a cultural park, a public space for the community.

In 1992, the massacre of 111 prisoners happened and it was portrayed in music, books and cinema. Seven years later, the project of a new park appeared, named Parque da Juventude, or Youth Park. So they could transform an area that brought bad memories of the past into an area of public entertainment.   

Nowadays, the ruins of the prison cells are preserved, so many people go there to observe and take photos. And also there are sports courts such as football, volleyball, tennis, basketball and others. In addition, there is a big skate lane and many open areas where people can have a picnic. Because of this, many people go there to have fun and practice sports.

A curiosity about this park is that one of the stairs of the old prison that is still in the park was used to record a part of a brazilian series, 3%.

Project Our City - Blog (27 de mar de 2018 16_34)

We recommend this place because it can improve your cultural knowledge and it’s a fun place where you can see your friends and have fun!

Casa das Rosas

by Maria Antônia Borges and Julia Boggiss

Today we visited Casa das Rosas, at Paulista Avenue, here in São Paulo.


It is a mansion built by Francisco de Paula Ramos de Azevedo in 1935, whose family lived there until 1986, the year that it was expropriated by the Government. At that time, Paulista Avenue had already changed. Casa das Rosas was surrounded by modern buildings, banks, etc.

The mansion was rebuilt and transformed by the state of São Paulo between the years 1986 and 1991, the year that a cultural space was opened there.

The Avenue, which is considered a symbol of the city, was inaugurated by the rural elite and turned into an avenue full of big houses and mansions of the industry people.  However, in 1991, the Avenue became more cultural, filled with museums, libraries, theaters and cinemas, parks, gardens and statues that were spread, to become the Paulista Avenue that we all know.

Casa das Rosas was reformed again in 2003, opened in 2004, and since then, it has been a public space specifically focused in poetry. It offers many classes and lectures about it.

The house has the name Casa das Rosas because of the beautiful and enchanting garden full of roses, which is the essence of the place.

That’s all for today! We hope you enjoyed knowing a little more about Casa das Rosas.

Stay safe!

Instituto Butantan (The Butantan Institute)

by Luanna Moura and Julia Oppenheimer

The Butantan Institute is a place surrounded by a park, with about 80 hectares. This park is divided into the museum, places for visiting, hospital, as well as a very important research center for the development of biological science. It is located in the West Zone of São Paulo. Several researchers go there to develop vaccines to combat the venom of snakes of various species. In addition, several students go to the Institute in order to visit the three main museums: Biological Museum, Microbiology Museum and Historical Museum.

IMG-20180321-WA0079The Institute began as a farm in 1899 and was called Butantan Farm, but it was actually founded and recognized in 1901.

We recommend everyone visit the Institute because it is a place that shows the evolution of science and how it can still be improved. Apart from that, by visiting this place, you will have very significant experiences and will know the historical and biological diversity of our country and the world.

Capela dos Aflitos (Chapel of the Afflicted)

by Caitlin Starke and Lis Crivellari

Today’s blog also takes place at Capela dos Aflitos (the Chapel of the Afflicted), a small and mysterious chapel that is tucked away at the end of a short alley in Liberdade, practically hidden from sight. The short alley is located right next to the Liberdade main square. How to spot this unique chapel? The exterior may be dull, but don’t judge a book by its cover. The face of the building is a white washed grey with typical Liberdade-styled street lights lighting the alley before the chapel’s doors. The bell house makes up the tallest part of the building. Inside the walls of this building is a room filled with faith and history. Once entering the front doors you will forget where you are. The room is filled with colour which may fool many into thinking that the history of the place is also colourful. It is colorful but not in the conventional sense. The Chapel of the Afflicted has a mysterious history and be sure to read on to find out what it entails.

Project Our City - Blog (25 Mar 2018 at 13_34)The historical background of this mysterious little church is as interesting as its neighbourhood. The Chapel of the Afflicted wasn’t always a chapel. In 1774, the landscape was home to the first graveyard in the city of São Paulo, where people used to bury the poor, damned and non-catholics in the city (therefore its name, a reference to Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos – a representation of Jesus’s mother at the moment he agonizes on the cross). There’s no way of telling whether there are corpses still buried there, but some even say that the souls of the dead that were buried there still wonder throughout the neighbourhood. One of the most remarkable events that marks this chapel’s history is of a soldier, named Francisco José das Chagas (Chaguinhas), who fought for the soldiers’ rights in Brazil. In the morning of September 20th, 1821, he was condemned to death by hanging because of a riot defending the soldiers’ salaries. The interesting thing about this event is that there were three attempts to hang Chaguinhas, which led many to believe that the fails of his murder were miraculous and, therefore, proof that he was innocent. Some believe that Chaguinhas’ ghost still wanders through the streets of Liberdade, nonconformist with the future of those with a similar history as his own.

There are many people that pass the chapel without entering it or even noticing it… so who actually goes there? We can only assume that local religious people and tourists that are interested in the smaller, unknown wonders of Liberdade, would go there regularly. It is not a place that is only for one specific ´type´ of person, anyone can go there and appreciate it whenever they want.Project Our City - Blog (26 Mar 2018 at 07_12)

The main public may be of local people, the ones who probably know about its history (seen that the interior of the chapel is filled with written tributes to their influential personalities), but it’s not like this church is very different from others! There is an organized schedule for the prayers, a little room for lighting candles and even a tiny convenience store! So, if you’re only interested in practicing your faith, Capela dos Aflitos is as good as any other.

We (us authors) have contrasting views so lucky you, you can receive two opinions…

I, C, only recommend this little wonder if you are already planning a trip to Liberdade and have other attractions or activities on your list. I would not plan a day around the chapel, there is only so much you can do in a 10 meters square building… Other places that you can visit while in the area of the chapel are all the small stores that line the streets of Liberdade. Each store has something new to offer, from clothing to food to interesting trinkets. There are also quite a few hidden gardens in Liberdade that make you forget where you are.

I, L, do recommend this mysterious chapel wholeheartedly. If you’re interested in History, you will see by entering the chapel that Chaguinhas and all of the souls there buried are still consecrated by the architecture, sculptures and its tributaries. I felt it was incredible that such a little church, hidden in the middle of our gigantic city and with so little to show, was able to fill me up with emotion as I felt it’s strong energy; one that was built from the resistance of the poor, the slaves and remarkable personalities that undoubtedly helped shaping our present São Paulo.

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