Londrina: Brazil’s Little London

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Londrina is the second largest city in the state of Paraná, Brazil, and has approximately 500,000 inhabitants. Located in the north of the state of Paraná, Londrina was first explored by British settlers who launched railroad stations in the region to transport coffee grains to the port of Santos. In 1930, Londrina was officially established by a group of Japanese and German settlers and has since received immigrants from Portugal, Italy, Poland, Africa, Spain, and Lebanon, among others.

Londrina is a regional center for commerce, services, agro-industry and universities in southern Brazil. Coffee crops were the major economic activity in Londrina for many years, but nowadays the agricultural activity is more diversified and also includes corn, wheat, beans, rice, sugar cane, soy beans and fruit plantations, all of which abound in Londrina’s rich soil, known as “terra roxa” (purple soil).

Londrina has a large industrial park, and real estate is also a growing sector, generating jobs and contributing to the growth of the city. The city also hosts Expo Londrina, the largest agricultural fair in Latin America.

Places to Visit

Museu Histórico de Londrina Padre Carlos Weiss: The Historical Museum of Londrina was inaugurated on September 18, 1970, and from 1974 became a supplementary branch of the State University of Londrina, linked academically to the Center of Letters and Human Sciences.

Since December 10, 1986, the museum occupies the old Railway Station of Londrina, and by its architectural design, constitutes as a historical landmark of English origin, characteristic of the colonization of Londrina and the New North of Paraná.

The museum aims to rescue, preserve and share the cultural heritage of Londrina and its surrounding region. Most of the exhibit focuses on work and the economy; the daily life in Londrina.

Museu de Arte de Londrina: The Museum is located in a building that originally served as a bus station, built in 1952, and is the first building of modern architecture in the State of Paraná. Its construction began during the term of Pref. Hugo Cabral, but was completed in the term of the Pref. Milton Ribeiro de Meneses in 1952. Deactivated in 1988, the building underwent major renovations and now houses the Londrina Museum of Art.

The Museum was inaugurated on May 13th, 1993, and as its main attraction, exhibited the sculpture “The Eternal Spring” by Auguste Rodin. In addition to this, works of Menotti Del Pichia (Head of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote) and Vítor Brecheret, and an installation of Yiftah Peled were also exhibited.

Lago Igapó: Lake Igapó is a man-made lake in Londrina, created in December of 1959. The name Igapó is derived from the Tupi language, meaning “transfusion of rivers.” In 1970, the city created a project to urbanize the lake, which then began construction of sidewalks and planting trees around the lake. Years later, the lake included a garden with 187 species of native plants, The Zerão (leisure area), and the Urban Social Center.

Lake Igapó is a place of leisure, and in addition to the dam, allows water sports for recreation. There is a vast urbanized area with swimming pools, tracks, model airplanes, and a photo club. Visitors and citizens enjoy the lake and the activities it offers – a bike path, theater, gardens and fountain allow people to gather and take part in a leisurely afternoon in the park.

Jardim Botânico de Londrina: With more than 1 million square meters of native forest, streams and rivers, the Botanical Garden of Londrina was established in March 2006 by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

The Londrina Botanical Garden is one of the most important research units and conservation of native and exotic species in Parana. The Garden is a space dedicated to the protection and cultivation of rare, endangered, or economically and ecologically important wild species important for the restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems.

The Garden has many trails for you to take, with tons of information at hand about plant species and other wildlife. With its touch of romanticism, the garden is an ideal place for couples to take a stroll in the afternoon.

CLAUDIA KNUTSSON
Freelance writer
cpedersen2@pride.hofstra.edu