Federal University of Paraiba
August 5, 1585
Luciano Cartaxo (PT)
Joao Pessoa is the capital of the state of Paraiba in Brazil. It was founded in 1585 and sometimes is called the city where the sun rises first, as it is the easternmost city in the Americas at 34º4738"W, 7º928"S. Its easternmost point is known as Ponta do Seixas. The city is considered "the second greenest in the world", with more than 7 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi) of forested land, second only to Paris, France. It gained this distinction in 1992 after a survey of urban centres in various countries carried out by the United Nations (source: Embassy of Brazil in the UK). The city is characterized by the juxtaposition of tropical beaches, modern architecture, and historic buildings from colonial periods.
Joao Pessoa is the capital of Paraiba, a state in the northeast region of Brazil and home to 19th and 20th century Brazilian poets and writers such as Augusto dos Anjos, Jose Americo de Almeida, Jose Lins do Rego, and Pedro Americo. It took its current name in 1930 in homage to state president (governor) Joao Pessoa Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, who was assassinated on 26 July of that year. It is the states largest city, with a population of circa 770,000 (about one sixth of the states population). Its metropolitan area comprises eight other satellite cities (Bayeux, Cabedelo, Conde, Lucena, Santa Rita, and others), totalling 1,223,000 of inhabitants.
It is the capital with the shortest distance from another capital (Recife), which is approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) away, as well as Natal, 180 kilometres (110 mi) north of Joao Pessoa. Due to the high growth rate of these three capital cities, it is believed that for the next few decades an informal megalopolis will be set up, especially between Recife and Joao Pessoa.
The city is one of the oldest in the northeast of the country. Theatres, auditoriums, and convention centres are part of the available infrastructure in the city. The new Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport connects Joao Pessoa with many Brazilian cities.
The new "Estacao Ciencia, Cultura e Artes" (Science, Culture and Art Station), located at the most eastern point of the Americas (Ponta das Seixas), is both an educational and cultural institution as well as a national landmark. The complex, inaugurated in 2008, was created by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and is one of his latest projects.
Joao Pessoa is the third oldest city in Brazil.
The area soon proved perfect for sugar production, with the French, the Dutch, and the Portuguese all fighting to control the Paraiba region as a place to grow the lucrative sugarcane. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near Joao Pessoa, was built by the Portuguese to protect the city from the invading Dutch, who soon became the greatest threat to Portuguese supremacy in Portugals Colonial Brazil.
From 1634 through 1654, the city was held by the Dutch, who renamed it Frederikstadt after their stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. They renamed it Fort Margaretha after the mother of John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, Governor of Dutch Brazil (or New Holland). The names Nossa Senhora das Neves and Santa Catarina were restored after the Portuguese reoccupation.
Joao Pessoa has a 20 kilometres (12 mi) beachfront.
Joao Pessoa has many green areas distributed among its avenues, parks, and residential neighborhoods, which support its claim as "the second greenest city in the world" with more than 7 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi) of forested land, second only to Paris. It was considered thus in 1992 after a survey of urban centres in various countries carried out by the United Nations (source: Embassy of Brazil in the UK).
Joao Pessoa is situated in a tropical zone, with regular rain regimen and thus a lush vegetation (tropical rain forest).
The official language is Portuguese and the dialectal differences regarding other Brazilian varieties are mainly phonological (Northeastern accent). Portuguese is the primary language taught in schools and it is spoken by 100% of the population. English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.
The GDP for the city was R$ 5,024,604,000 (2005).
Joao Pessoa is located in the easternmost point of the Americas and is the second greenest city in the world, coupled with 40 km of tropical beaches. Tourism is one of Joao Pessoas chief economic activities, together with construction, food, metalworking, and other industries. Sugar cane agriculture and related industries are also important. Historically, Tarcisio de Miranda Burity, a former governor, has made major strides to improve the infrastructure of the city and to support the arts. Today, Joao Pessoa has a growing tourist and commercial industry. The second-largest mall in the Northeast region of Brazil, Shopping Manaira, is located in Joao Pessoa.
Joao Pessoa has one publication which highlights its tourist attractions: The Guia Mais Joao Pessoa. Major local newspapers, such as O Correio da Paraiba and O Norte, highlight a wide range of events on a weekly basis. Below are a few of the major attractions.
Source:Museu Sacro e de Arte Popular, within the Sao Francisco church.
Espaco Cultural Jose Lins do Rego. A cultural centre including history and science museums.
City Museum. The former Casa da Polvora, an old gunpowder store.
Museu Fotografico Walfredo Rodriguez.