Saturday, June 22, 2013

National Trust - Joanópolis and São Paulo

This is the main church on the square in Joanópolis, a town two hours from the craziness of São Paulo. The town (pop. 12,000) has many old Portuguese-style buildings and a lovely central area that has recently been renovated with new paving stones and sidewalks. Every time we pass through on a Sunday afternoon there are folks sitting around or standing around with bicycles or horses having a chat (the people--the horses keep pretty quiet). The vistas towards the mountains are gorgeous--dark green hills, darker trees, fields and farms.

This is a town that 99% of the foreign visitors to Brazil will never see. It is not well-known. It is small. No one speaks English or knows what to do with a foreign tourist. Very few of the buildings are protected from "besteiras" (bad things)--from someone knocking down a lovely old building and doing whatever they want with it. Fortunately, that has not happened for the most part.  I am keeping an eye on the building below, since the walling up of beautiful old windows usually bodes ill for the place.

One of the areas of big city São Paulo that has lovely old buildings, is the so-called Centro (or Center) of São Paulo. I was not aware that the sprawling city has a "center" but okay. It will take a major effort for the area to be recuperated. Drug dealers, graffiti and street crime are current residents. With the recent protests and destruction of store fronts, I can't imagine that I would want to move into the area. 

In other places, historic buildings are saved from destruction but overwhelmed by their modern neighbor. The building that houses google Brazil was forced to work around an historic house at its feet. The Casa Bandeirista was built in 1896 and protected by federal proclamation in 1982. That means that the enormous building had to be built around makes an H over the house (see last photo). The whole story about the house and its "rescue" is here (in Portuguese).

Ummm, could someone open a window?

 Awww...see the cute house under the big bad glass building?

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