Curitiba City Guide

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Vital statistics

MSN gives you the low down on Curitiba, on the host cities for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil See Gallery

Founded: 1693
State: Paraná
Region: South
Population: 1,764,540
Size: 430.9 km2

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History

Formed prior to the turn of the 18th century, the southern coastal city of Curitiba enjoyed steady growth throughout the 1700s on account of its role as a hub for cattle trade in the region.

The city was elevated to the position of capital of the state of Paraná in 1853, before its expansion really kicked off with a huge process of immigration throughout the rest of the 19th century. A vast influx of Europeans – mainly Germans, Italians, Ukrainians and Polish – were welcomed to the city, the effects of which are still felt in the city’s atmosphere today.

Halfway through the 20th century, clever urban planning allowed the city to control and care for the expanding population – work that has gained recognition around the world – though the number of inhabitants in Curitiba has reached around 1.8m, the highest in the south of Brazil.

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Curitiba today

Today, as the largest city in the state, the city of Curitiba is the nucleus of a metropolis that has become Brazil’s fourth largest contributor to gross national product. Commendably, along with its booming industry, the city – with its parklands and cultural venues - has remained committed to providing welfare and a high quality of life to those who make their home there.

In fact, it’s no stretch to see why the Curitibia is often regarded as being one of the best cities in the country to live.

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Tingui park

The city is home to a number of parks that help cover the landscape, including the Tangua, the Barigui and the impressive Botanical Gardens. Perhaps the most memorable, however, is the Tingui Park.

The large public space homes a Ukrainian church replica (pictured), a tribute to the city’s influential immigration period, made entirely of wood in the style of Lithuania’s church of St. Michael the Archangel.

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Oscar Niemeyer Museum

Inaugurated in 2005, the Oscar Niemeyer Museum – also known as the museum of the eye, on account of its distinctive shape – is another of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Created by the eponymous Brazilian architect at the age of 95, the museum houses an international collection of visual art and architectural design pieces.

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Opera de Arame

The city is also home to the beautiful Opera de Arame, or wire opera house, a theatre constructed entirely with glass and iron wires. Situated in the centre of the Parque das Pedreiras, the venue was opened in 1992, and allows visitors to take in the forest while watching regular musical and dance performances. 

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Climate

Located on a plateau and surrounded by rocky hills – including the Serra do Mar – the city experiences mild and damp winters (April-October), with average minimum temperatures around 7°C (46°F). So football fans heading there in June and July had best wrap up warm.

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Football in Curitiba

Since 1924 Curitiba has played host to one of Brazil’s most exciting derbies, the Atletiba, between local clubs Coritiba Football Club and Clube Atletico Paranaense. The pair have one Campeonato Brasileiro title apiece, Coritiba triumphing back in 1985, Atletico winning as recently as 2001 (pictured).

Ahead of the World Cup in 2014, Atletico’s stadium – the popular and ultra-modern Arena da Baixada – is to be revamped and used when Brazil hosts the tournament.