Joao Pessoa Information

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This capital city of Paraiba State in the country's Northeast region is recognised as being the 3rd oldest city in Brazil.

Joao Pessoa, throughout it's 400+ year history, has held on to it's historical treasures. At the 'Barroco Park', one of the largest in Brazil, the old town slopes with gloriously painted colonial properties tell us a little about the city's historical past, which certainly excites visitors with it's elegance and charm along with some of the most beautiful beaches on the Brazilian coastline.

Contrasting with the secular architectural wealth, emerge the modern and sophisticated residential apartment and commercial buildings in Joao Pessoa delivering that 'business city feel'. Big theatres, auditoriums and convention centres are part of the available infrastructure within the city, ready to host the most varied types of events and business meetings.

Being the most easterly city in the America's it is known as the city where the sun shines first, and the sun is certainly shining on the beach-front property market, so be sure to take a closer look at this investment hotspot in Brazil when you visit.

The city is also considered the second greenest in the world, with more than 7 square kilometres of forest within it's limits, and was given this title by a United Nations study carried out in 1992. Along with it's fruit lined avenues, Joao Pessoa is also known for it's classical tropical beaches, with modern architecture intertwined with historic colonial style buildings in downtown Joao Pessoa.

Joao Pessoa is also home to some of the most noted Brazilian poets and writers such as Augusto dos Anjos (1884-1908), José Américo de Almeida (1887-1980), José Lins do Rego (1901-1957) and Pedro Américo (1843-1905). Joao Pessoa is also the state's largest and most important city, with a population of about 672,000 (about one sixth of the state's population - 2006 estimate). Its metropolitan area comprises of other satellite cities including Bayeux, Cabedelo, Conde, Lucena, and Santa Rita, which in total have about another 384,000 people, meaning that the metropolitan area exceeds 1 million inhabitants.

Founded in 1585 as Filipéia, makes Joao Pessoa the third oldest city in Brazil. It fell under Dutch occupation from 1634 to 1654, and was originally called Friederstadt. Portugal then reclaimed it and called it Paraiba, although in 1930 the capital assumed it's current day name.

Tourism is one of the regions chief economic activities, together with construction, food, metalworking, and other industries. Sugar cane agriculture and related industries are also very important activities within the region.

There are approximately 40km of beaches to explore, which also include a large amount of small natural islands close to the shores. The most noted beaches in the city itself are Tambaú, Cabo Branco and Manaíra which always prove to be very popular for visitors to this city, and if you feel a little more adventurous, you can explore the native beaches on offer towards the north and south of the city, which include beaches such as Tambaba, Coqueirinhos, Jacuma, Tabatinga, Camboinha, and Areía Dourada.

The city provides a mix of modern buildings along with historic ones dating back to colonial times, and also hosts important museums and cultural institutions. The Sáo Francisco Church and the Convent Santo Antônio are located in the historic centre and are landmarks of Brazilian baroque architecture, dating back to the XVIII century. The Sáo Francisco Church has a museum that exhibits a vast collection of sacred and popular art.

A project entitled ESTAÇÃO CIÊNCIA, CULTURA e ARTES by world renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is being developed at Ponta do Seixas near Cabo Branco beach district.

While there are many English speaking people in Joao Pessoa, it is not that common to find fluency outside the major hotels and tourist areas. Non-Portuguese speakers are advised to arrange for an interpreter to be able to enjoy the city more, or certainly practice your Portuguese skills before you visit the region and be sure to bring a phrase book with you.

Joao Pessoa's 'Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport' is located in Bayeux, being approximately 20km's from the city beach districts. Currently the airport is being upgraded, has been given the international airport status, and no doubt in the future will be accepting an increasing number of domestic and international flights. Access by car to the airport is by the state road BR-101. The following airlines offer regular flights to and from Joao Pessoa: BRA, Gol and TAM.

The Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) is located within the city, which offers degrees in areas such as medicine, engineering, law, arts, and technology. In addition to the UFPB, other smaller private universities attract many students from within Paraiba and from other states. The "Centro Universitário de João Pessoa - UNIPÊ" offers courses ranging from psychology to law and the "Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Paraíba" offers degrees in medicine-related disciplines.

There are many events held here during the calendar year, which include
Muriçocas do Miramar (mini carnaval), Vem Viver a Paraiba (folklore performance event), Centro em Cena (arts and cultural event),  Carnaval da Melhor Idade (carnaval event for older people), FENART João Pessoa ( finearts exhibition), Vaquejada do Cowboy (rodeo event) and Reveillon (New Year's Eve celebrations on the beach with firework display over the ocean), just as a few examples.

Joao Pessoa is also known as being one of the most tranquil capital cities in the North East of Brazil, boasting probably the best city beaches of any capital city in Brazil. The city is also well known for closing the beachfront avenue off to passing traffic every morning between the hours of 05.00 and 08.00 to give way to the hundreds of residents in the city who love to do their daily exercises up and down the beach avenue taking full advantage of the fresh early morning temperatures.

Joao Pessoa's climate is near perfect with sunny days throughout the year and when evening falls the marvellous weather conditions allow you to enjoy open air dining in the many restaurants that you will find along the city beachfront.

Remember to visit Joao Pessoa during your next trip to Brazil, otherwise you will live to regret not seeing one of Brazil's most valued treasures!

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