São Paulo

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Template:Infobox settlement São Paulo (Portuguese for Saint Paul) is the capital of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. It is the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere.

The city has an area of 1,523 km² and more than 11 million people live there. It is the 11th most populous city on Earth.


In January 25, 1554, two priests, Manuel da Nóbrega and José de Anchieta, built a school - Colégio de São Paulo de Piratininga - to convert natives to Catholic religion. Today, this building is the Padre Anchieta Museum.

The first people moved to the region in 1560, when São Paulo became a village.

Because São Paulo was a poor village and was far away from the colony centre, the bandeirantes (explorers) chose it to start expeditions to enslave natives, recapture runaway slaves, and to find precious metals and stones (gold, diamonds, etc.).

In 1711, São Paulo became a city. In the end of the 18th century, people started growing sugarcane in the rural area of the province, and São Paulo was the way to the port of Santos.

In the 19th century, after the construction of São Paulo's Law School, São Paulo became the capital of the province, politicians and philosophers went there, and the first newspapers and books were printed. At this time, many European immigrants, especially Italians, moved to São Paulo to work at the big coffee plantations.

At the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, the city grew quickly. Some people who study Brazilian History says "the city was rebuilt".

In the 20th century, many factories were built, and more immigrants moved to work there.

Today, São Paulo is a centre of commerce, services and technology, and some people consider it the most important Latin American city.


The current mayor of São Paulo is Bruno Covas, and his party is "Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira".


Greater São Paulo (in red)
São Paulo and its subdivisons

São Paulo is crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn. It is in a plateau (a high flat area), 760 metres above the sea level.

Because of its altitude, its climate (subtropical) is not so warm as it is near the coast. São Paulo is 70 km far from the coast, 420 km far from Rio de Janeiro, and 1,020 km far from Brasília, the Brazilian capital city.

The metropolitan area formed by São Paulo and 39 surroundings cities is the biggest in the Latin America. More than 19 million people live in this metropolitan area, which is also called Greater São Paulo and is the fifth biggest of the world.


The city is divided into 31 boroughs, and each borough is divided into neighbourhoods. The boroughs form nine regions (or "zones"), with similar geographic location and history, but most people and companies prefer to use another division, with only five regions.

Ethnic diversity

Descendants of many peoples live in São Paulo: Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, African, German, Lebanese, Japanese. There are also descendant of peoples from other South American countries, for example Argentina and Bolivia, and other places, for example Chinese people, Jews, and South Koreans.

Every day, people from other cities or states move to São Paulo. Many are people from the Northeast region of Brazil that try to find a job in the city.


São Paulo is the commercial and industrial center of Brazil. There are factories and shops of all sizes and kinds. For example, in São Paulo there are some of the more expensive shops of Brazil, but also there are commercial districts formed only by cheap shops, and people from many places (also from other cities) buy clothing, electronics and other products at these districts.


Morumbi Stadium.

Football is the sport with the biggest number of fans in the city. The most important clubs from the city are Corinthians, Palmeiras, and São Paulo. They are all playing in the Brazilian Série A, the major football championship in Brazil. Except Palmeiras.

There are also other big and medium teams from São Paulo, for example Portuguesa and Juventus, and many small teams. However, Santos FC, that is a club from Santos, a city in the coast, is the fourth team in number of supporters.

São Paulo also hosts the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix, in Autódromo José Carlos Pace (known as Autódromo de Interlagos).

Other major sports are basketball and volleyball. Some people also play handball, tennis, and other sports.


Some people do not like São Paulo because of the big number of cars, trucks and motorcycles on streets and avenues. The public transport is also very important for the people who live there. There are many bus lanes in the city, and a big Metro (underground railway) and railway system.

São Paulo has three airports and is the second city in number of helicopters of the world (New York City is the first).

Born in São Paulo

Below is a list of famous people born in São Paulo.

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