Friday, January 30, 2015

São Luis: Maranhão State Capital

São Luis, the capital of Maranhão, is located on a beautiful tropical island.

Its principal industries are sugar refining, a rum distillery, cotton mills, plants for processing cacao, and factories for metallurgical products, chemicals, and hammocks. Exports include babassu palm oil, castor beans, balsam, hides and skins, lumber, cotton, sugar, rice, cassava, and corn. 

Photo by Brasil's via flickr. Street vendor

The city has many beautiful historic buildings, many of which are undergoing restoration, most of them are walls covered with Portuguese tiles (from Portugal).

The historic center of São Luis. Part of this site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997 for its Portuguese colonial architecture adapted to the local climate.

The main architectural feature of the historic center is even the concern with the climate, hot and humid. Among the solutions, it was decided  the use of tiles on the waterproofing of mud walls. Plants are "L" or "U" shapes with large roofs and shutters.

Photo by rqserra via flickr

Photo by Gaetano Gallero via flickr

Photo by Gilles Pansu via wikipedia

Photo by Brasil's via flickr. Fonte do Ribeirão. This fountain was constructed by order of governor D.Fernando Antonio de Noronha in 1796. This source supplied the city with water in that time. It has high walls in brick and it has heathen and christian symbols. The floor is in rock of cantaria (cantaria is a work made in rocks in the geometrical and vertical forms). At the top we can see a statue of Neptuno, the god of the sea, reason of legends and superstitions. The three windows with bars give access to the underground galleries. There are five "carrancas" (statues with a strange faces and very ugly) sculptured in rock of cantaria and points made in bronze.
The architectural buildings are houses, single-storey houses and solar (Homestead, or ancient noble family residence, large rural property, made up of sowing land, livestock and home ...).
Among the historic buildings to be highlighted, are the Palácio dos Leões (the state seat of government), the Palácio de La Ravardière (City Hall headquarters), the Catedral de São Luis (cathedral), the Episcopal Palace, the Carmo Convent, the Convent of Mercy, the Casa das Tulhas, the churches of the Rosary and the Exile, the House of Mines, the Springs and Rocks, Arthur Azevedo Theatre and many others.

The Palácio de La Ravardière with its origins in the seventeenth century, is an important landmark in the historic city center, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.O Palace name is a tribute to Daniel de la Touche, lord of La Ravardière that is considered the founder of the city in 1612.
Palácio do Leões. Photo by J. Freitas/ABr - Agência Brasil via wikipedia

the Palácio de La Ravardière. Photo wikipedia

Cathedral of São Luís. Photo by Luís Guilherme via wikipedia

Arthur Azevedo Theater. Photo wikipedia
São Luís has a vast area of salt water beaches. It has a distinctive cuisine of the city, such as: cuxá, rice cuxá, the fried fish and the famous pie of shrimp. The city has a very busy nightlife, having many bars, restaurants, party clubs, theaters, cinemas and many performances of local artists, national and international. The nightlife takes place every day of the week. It is a city with many leisure and entertainment options.
Photo by Donizetty Jr via flickr. Beach do Olho D'água - São Luís-MA

Photo by Jorge via flickr

Photo by danilohaliz via flickr. Fruit vendor in Praia de Calhau in São Luis. Fantastic diversity of flavors and colors.
Founded by the French conquerors, São Luís was soon reconquered by the Portuguese, who left their legacy in the mansions of the center with tile facades. Although not as visible, the african-Brazilian syncretism is as important as the Bahia; Candomblé is called tambor-de-mina. Reggae fell in Maranhão taste, with songs sung in "embromation" and dances with body pressed, such as forró. Until the guaraná is unique: color pink and with a strong taste of cinnamon, goes by the name of Jesus.


  1. As comidas hein? Devem fazer um grande sucesso

    1. Nunca provei o arroz de cuxá, mas parece que é uma delícia....e a torta de camarão então...hummm!

  2. Olha essa guaraná única, chamada Jesus, só tem lá! :)