Founded in 1554 by Jesuit priests in an effort to catechize the Indians, São Paulo is today the financial, corporate and commercial center of South America. From 1889 to 1930, the city has welcomed large numbers of immigrants, which gave momentum to manufacturing and strengthened their cultural bias; and, as early as 1928, counted its first million inhabitants. Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, Japanese, Arabs, Syrians, Lebanese… The plurality of cultures integrating the São Paulo “melting pot” gave it a cosmopolitan profile that is extremely favorable to global interaction and, as a consequence, also to business. Large events, meetings, launches, exhibits and congresses are added to a thousand other economic activities to make it the most influential Brazilian city in the world scene.
History is present in many spaces around the “Paulista” capital. The School Patio, where the first building was erected in São Paulo, the Bandeirante’s House, a typical example of the local rural homes between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Luz Railway Station, built between 1895 and 1901 to serve the needs of the coffee production, the Anhangabaú Valley with its famous viaducts and, right beside them, the centenary Theatro Municipal, or the Municipal Market, built in 1932, boasting seventy-two stained glass windows created by Conrado Sorgenicht Filho depicting the Brazilian Agribusiness, are some of the few examples of places where the memories from the past join today’s urban landscape.
Culture, leisure, entertainment and business are plentiful. Museums, libraries, picture galleries, bookstores, art galleries, cultural centers, parks, gardens, showplaces, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, sophisticated stores, discount stores, street markets… They suit all tastes and pockets. São Paulo has excellent options.