Belem, capital of the state of Pará, is a port city and gateway to Brazil’s lower Amazon region. By Guajará Bay, the riverfront district Cidade Velha (old town) preserves Portuguese-colonial architecture, including churches, colourful azulejo-tile houses and a 17th-century fortification known as Forte do Presépio. Ver-o-Peso is a vast, open-air market on the water selling Amazonian fish, fruit and handicrafts. Belem, sometimes called Pará, city and port, capital of Pará estado (state), northern Brazil. It is situated on Guajará Bay, part of the vast Amazon River delta, near the mouth of the Guamá River, about 80 miles (130 km) up the Pará River from the Atlantic Ocean.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
A former royal residence, Belem (Bethlehem) is known for its Manueline (early 16th-century) architecture, notably the Jerónimos monastery, founded by Manuel I in 1499 in honour of the explorer Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India, and the white Tower of Belem. The Belem Cultural Centre (Portuguese: Centro Cultural de Belem), is a complex of artistic venues located in Belem in the city of Lisbon. It is the largest building with cultural facilities in Portugal, with over 140,000 m2 of usable space. Principal religions are Catholicism and the rapidly expanding Pentecostalism. One of Latin America’s largest Catholic street processions, the Círio de Nazaré, takes place every October in Belem.
Brief City History
Belem, sometimes called Pará, city and port, capital of Pará estado (state), northern Brazil. It is situated on Guajará Bay, part of the vast Amazon River delta, near the mouth of the Guamá River, about 80 miles (130 km) up the Pará River from the Atlantic Ocean. Its climate is equatorial, with an average annual temperature of 80 °F (27 °C) and an annual rainfall of 86 inches (2,175 mm).In 1616 the fortified settlement of Feliz Lusitânia, later called Nossa Senhora de Belem do Grão Pará (Our Lady of Bethlehem of the Great Para River) and Santa Maria de Belem (St. Mary of Bethlehem), was established, consolidating Portuguese supremacy over the French in what is now northern Brazil. Belém was given city status in 1655 and was made the state capital when Pará state was separated from Maranhão in 1772. The early decades of the 19th century were marked by political instability. Uprisings and internecine strife were finally ended in 1836, after considerable loss of life.
The sugar trade was important in the Belem region until the end of the 17th century. Thereafter the city’s economic importance alternately rose and fell. Cattle ranching supplanted sugar until the 18th century, when cultivation of rice, cotton, and coffee became profitable. With the settlement of southern Brazil, where such crops could be produced more reasonably, Belem declined again. The city subsequently became the main exporting centre of the Amazon rubber industry, and by 1866 its position was further enhanced by the opening of the Amazon, Tocantins, and Tapajós rivers to navigation. The rubber era terminated after the boom of 1910–12, but Belem continued to be the main commercial centre of northern Brazil and the entrepôt for the Amazon basin. The most valuable products now exported from the Amazon by way of Belem are aluminium, iron ore, and other metals, nuts (chiefly Brazil nuts), pineapples, cassava, jute, wood veneers, and hardwoods. Japanese immigration after the 1930s was an important factor in developing jute and black pepper, notably at Tomé-Açu, just south of Belem, and near Santarém. Marajó Island, the largest fluvial island in the world, which lies just across the Pará River from Belem, has some livestock grazing. Electricity is provided by the massive Tucuruí Dam, some 200 miles (300 km) southwest of the city on the Tocantins River. The north’s leading educational and cultural centre, Belem has a modern appearance with tree-lined streets, several plazas and public gardens, and many noteworthy buildings. It is the seat of a bishopric, and its cathedral (Igreja da Sé, founded in 1917) is one of Brazil’s largest. Santo Alexandre, the oldest of Belem churches, was built in 1616. The Museu (museum) Paraense Emílio Goeldi, the Teatro da Paz (a classical theatre), and the public library and archives are notable institutions. The Universidade Federal do Pará (1957), a teacher-training school, an agricultural institute, and an institute for research on tropical diseases are also in the city. The Ver-o-Peso (Portuguese: “See the Weight”) market in the old port centre is a major tourist attraction. The city is home to a large football (soccer) stadium.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The language spoken in Belem is Portuguese but English is widely spoken by all people who work within the tourist industry.
Important Types of Commerce in Belem
The city of Belem is a significant Brazilian tourist destination and has as well earned a high reputation in the world economy with sectors such as rubber production. The city has huge rubber plantations; it makes for an important market for this Agricultural produce leading to the construction of historic markets.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Belem
Brochure, website, pamphlet, business card and important business literature with Portuguese translation will impress a Belem business person. Certified translation creates a legally binding record recognized by Belem directories, ministries, officials, courts and academic universities and institutions. All documents should also be translated into Portuguese to be considered by the ministry of foreign affairs in the company’s country of origin, and the Belem ministry of foreign affairs.
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