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January 10, 2008

Sao Francisco do Sul - Santa Catarina


São Francisco do Sul - Santa Catarina - Brazilian Cities

The beautiful São Francisco do Sul, located in an island on the Northern coast of the state of Santa Catarina, is the oldest town of the State – having been founded in 1660. It was colonized by Azorean immigrants, and “São Chico”, as it is tenderly known, is indeed one of the most beautiful “postcards” of the whole area, with its 13 beaches and an architectural group formed by no less than 150 building in colonial style. So much beauty granted the town the title of Historical Treasure.

Sao Francisco do Sul

São Francisco do Sul is also known for having one of the most important natural harbors in Brazil, the fifth largest harbor in the country in container transportation. It is that harbor that is responsible for an expressive percentage of the local economy. The beaches of the town are also very special places for people who like fun, as it is the case with the Enseada beach, where there is a whole structure of hotels, bars, and restaurants by the seashore, and there are also those places which are perfect for those who want to rest and enjoy nature, as it is the case of the Ervino beach, for example. Other options for good rides are related to ecotourism. In some places it is possible to practice trekking, in trails that lead to truly refreshing waterfalls. In the town’s center, the greatest attractions are the old buildings, built in colonial and German styles, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is also there that we find the Museu Histórico de São Francisco do Sul (São Francisco do Sul’s Historical Museum), the Museu Nacional do Mar (Sea National Museum), and the Mercado Público Municipal (Municipal Public Market), one of the favorite places for the visitors who want to go shopping.

The Festilha is a traditional beneficent festivity that is organized in São Francisco do Sul for four days in the month of April. The objective is to celebrate the traditions of the island, with its typical dishes of Azorean origin, folkloric presentations, as well as other attractions, which demonstrate the characteristics of the local culture.

Museu Histórico de São Francisco do Sul (Historical Museum of São Francisco do Sul)
Located in the historical center of São Francisco do Sul, this museum preserves part of the town’s past, with a collection that includes pictures, objects, old pieces of furniture, and maps of the area. The building, built in the eighteenth century, was used in the past as the Town Council and as the Public Jailhouse, and it was there that the leaders of the Contestado War were apprehended. It is open for pubic visitation from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., from Tuesdays to Fridays, and from 11:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays.

* The Contestado War (Portuguese: Guerra do Contestado), broadly speaking, was a land war between rebelled civilians and the Brazilian state and federal police and military forces. It was fought in a region rich in wood and yerba mate that was contested by the States of Paraná, Santa Catarina and even Argentina, from October 1912 to August 1916.

Museu Nacional do Mar (National Sea Museum)
The Museu Nacional do Mar is one of the town’s most visited places. Those who visit it are dazzled by the richness of the articles exhibited there, most of which being craft objects. The famous Brazilian navigator Amyr Klink was honored with a room when there is an exhibition showing the history of his adventures and in which his boat, the Paraty, used in his crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, can be seen by the visitors. It is really worth a visit, so as to learn about the beauty and the histories told by each of the 422 objects in the collection of the Museum, between miniatures and real-sized ships and boats. All that diversity has led Santa Catarina into taking part into a project that aims at transforming the state in a center for the preservation of the Brazilian Naval Memory.

Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market)
The building, whose construction started in the year of 1916, is today a very busy shopping center in San Francisco. In its stalls, tourists and visitors can see and buy from fish and seafood to vegetables and items of the local craft.

Marechal Luz Fortress
The Marechal Luz Fortress, located at 15 km (9.32 mi.) from the town’s center, was built in 1909 over old ruins. The old coast artillery battery, formed by cannons, is still there, and it is activated every Saturday morning, when there happens the changing of the flag parade, which is done by soldiers wearing uniforms of those times.
It is necessary to obtain a previous authorization from the military garrison in order to be able to visit the place

Paulas Beach Resort
The Paulas Beach Resort is formed by four beautiful beaches, located at only 1.5 km (0.93 mi.) from the Historical Center of the town. Having similar characteristics, the Ingleses, Figueira, Salão, and Calixto beaches are formed by crystal clear shallow calms waters, in which it is possible to see the fish swimming. Generally speaking, they are inhabited by fishermen, who make their living and support their families from what they take from the sea. The Paulas Beach Resort is also the stage for national nautical competitions.

Capri Beach Resort
The beaches of the Capri Beach Resort are located at 18 km (11.18 mi.) from the center of San Francisco. Both beaches have as their characteristic their calm waters, rich in fish, where seafood is part of the main menu of the local bars and restaurants, from which most prominent is the shrimp.

Praia do Forte (Fortress Beach)
An open sea beach, ideal for fishing and surfing. The area is where the Morro do João (João's Hill) is located, the place where we find the Monazitic sands, which are indicated for the treatment of people who suffer from rheumatic problems, because of their therapeutic powers.

Ubatuba Beach
The Ubatuba beach is one of the most appreciated by tourists because of its crystal clear waters. Located at 12 Km (7.46 mi.) from the center of São Francisco do Sul, that beach is located between the Enseada and Itaguaçu beaches. The sands of the Ubatuba beach are also the place to find those who like to practice beach volleyball and surfing.

Itaguaçu Beach
The Itaguaçu beach, located between the Morro João Dias and the Ubatuba beach resort, is one of the places that is most appreciated by vacationers, surfers, and fishermen from the area, who do net fishing there. In the area next to the Morro João Dias, the attraction are the monazitic sands, rich in minerals and used as treatment to some illnesses by the practitioners of alternative medicine.

Enseada Beach Resort
Formed by the Enseada and Molhe beaches, the beach resort has clear shallow calm waters. On the Enseada beach tourists will find good infrastructure of hotels, bars, and restaurants, where the main dishes are prepared with seafood, especially shellfishes. Its sands are the stage for cultural and sports events.

Praia da Saudade (Beach of the Longing)
The Praia da Saudade, also known as Prainha (Short Beach), is one of the surfers’ favorite places all year round. Located between the Enseada and Grande Beaches, the Prainha beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the area by the local residents.

Praia Grande (Long Beach)
The almost wild nature of the Grande Beach makes this place almost a sanctuary. Just like in the Saudade Beach, the rough waters attract surfers, fishermen, and also naturists. The sands are white and soft, and its landscape is completely surrounded by the green of the local vegetation, being the perfect place for enjoying its great peace.

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