Pindamonhangaba, known as “Princess of the North”, has been a member of CODIVAP (Consortium for the Integrated Development of Vale do Paraíba, North Coast and Serra da Mantiqueira), since its establishment in 1970. The entity is headquartered in the city. The municipality aims to expand its industrial park, with consequent generation of new job posts and richness, in perfect environmental harmony and balance. Furthermore, the municipality has been making large investments in agriculture, aiming to have workers settled in the rural countryside.
Quality of life is a cardinal issue for the city authorities. Therefore, 100% of wastewater is collected nowadays, and this has greatly contributed to the recovery of the historical Paraíba do Sul River, in which the miraculous image of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, was found.
The technically developed, quality-minded, and competitive private companies, with model administrative structures, will undoubtedly find a productive and prosperous location in Pindamonhangaba, the population of which has realized that crises are overcome by work and safe return on investments.
The land area in which Pindamonhangaba is located was first occupied in the latter part of the 16th century. The site, with shelters and pasture, was known as a “paragem”. The exact time when that site began to be called Pindamonhangaba is unknown. Pindamonhangaba is an indigenous name meaning “the place where fishhooks are made”.
The “paragem” had a very quick development, thanks to its excellent soil and very pleasant climate. Moreover, because of its geographical location, it became an obligatory pathway from Vale do Paraíba to Minas Gerais State.
By 1680, Pindamonhangaba was already a village, under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Taubaté. By that time, Antonio Bicudo Leme and his brother Braz Esteves Leme built Saint Joseph’s Church, the town’s first catholic temple. On July 10, 1705 Pindamonhangaba was politically emancipated from Taubaté, and became an independent province. In the 18th century, farming and cattle raising were intensified in Pindamonhangaba, particularly sugarcane farming and production of sugar and distilled alcoholic liquors in sugar mills.
During the “coffee-cycle” in Brazil, Pindamonhangaba experienced its best period and was known nationwide. That cycle started in the 1820´s and Pindamonhangaba became a very important coffee-producing center thanks to its fertile soil and slave labor. Some important buildings were built in that period: Palacete 10 de Julho, Palacete Visconde da Palmeira, Palacete Tiradentes, Saint Joseph Church and the Mother Church of Our Lady of Bom Sucesso, which even nowadays are evidence of the wealth brought by the coffee crops. Pindamonhangaba was incorporated as a town by a provincial act dated April 3rd, 1849, time at which it was given the title “Princess of the North” by the poet and chronicler Emílio Zaluar.
The coffee-cycle came to an end in the latter part of the 1920´s due to land exhaustion, end of slavery, and the world economic crisis. As a result, the municipality redirected its attention to the formation of a major milk basin as well as to extensive rice and vegetable farming. That was a period of poor economic growth, which lasted until the latter part of the 1950´s, when Pindamonhangaba entered its pre-industrial cycle. From 1970 to 1985 the city experienced an accelerated industrial growth, which deeply affected its profile.
TOPONYM: Pindamonhangaba – word meaning “the place where fishhooks are made”
FOUNDATION: August 12, 1672
FOUNDERS: ANTONIO BICUDO LEME and BRAZ ESTEVES LEME
EMANCIPATION: July 10, 1705
HISTORIC, ARTISTIC, ARCHITECTURAL, AND ECOLOGICAL LANDMARKS
The building, designed by the French architect Charles Peyronton, had its construction started in 1850. The construction works took four years to be completed, but the building was inaugurated only in 1856.
The building, which currently houses the City Hall, was declared a São Paulo State Historical Monument in 1969 and is protected as a cultural and historical heritage by CONDEPHAAT (Counsel for the Defense of Historical, Artistic, and Architectural Estate), a State agency. Once City Hall moves into a new building, “Palacete 10 de Julho” will be restored and transformed into a museum.
Built by Francisco Antonio Pereira de Carvalho, from 1860 to 1877, this neo-classical small palace is considered the only relic of the coffee-farming nobility in São Paulo. The building façade has more than sixty windows. It is the first and only building of its kind in Brazil, being the highest construction using the “mud wall” technique.
Its construction began in 1840 and was finished in 1848. Its walls are built with the “mud wall” technique, with an elegant Second Empire style. In past times, the side walls housed several graves where the remains of some members of Prince D. Pedro I’s Honor Guard are buried .
CAMPOS DO JORDÃO RAILROAD
A 47km-long tourist railroad built in 1912, with its first locomotive powered by steam, started operating on November 15, 1924. It was named after Prudente de Morais, the engineer who supervised the construction works. In 1924, it was electrified by the English Electric Company. At present, the railroad is owned and administered by the São Paulo State Government. The three-hour trip (Pindamonhangaba – Santo Antonio do Pinhal – Campos do Jordão) is made on a luxury train, which runs on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Its bucolic route, the highest in Brazil for electrified railroads, runs upwards and downwards through Serra da Mantiqueira (a mountain range), offering beautiful views to the passengers.
BOSQUE DA PRINCESA (THE PRINCESS' PARK)
A pleasant and welcoming site, on the right margin of Paraíba do Sul River, with different plant species, lakes with fishes, playground, bandstand, and paved paths. Its construction dates back to 1868. It currently houses the City Library, with approximately 48,000 volumes.
MONSENHOR MARCONDES SQUARE (THE CASCADE SQUARE)
Pindamonhangaba’s main square, was known as Formosa Square until 1860. Then the name was changed to Emperor Square, then to Theater Square in 1863, and finally Monsenhor Marcondes Square, as a tribute to this prominent catholic priest. It is a very pleasant space, with a bandstand and a cove, adorned with animal-shaped bushes.
REINO DAS ÁGUAS CLARAS – LEISURE PARK
A beautiful natural site, with pure air, clear water, swimming spots as well as culture and folklore: this is Reino das Águas Claras (Clear Water Kingdom), name inspired by Monteiro Lobato’s literary works. By taking advantage of a quiet extension of Piracuama River (name that means Fish Cave). The site is decorated with artworks made by 3 craftsmen - hollow clay hand-sculpted figures based on Monteiro Lobato’s characters. It occupies a 21,311m2 green area with good infrastructure: restaurant, changing rooms, playground, barbecue installations, and kiosks.
Itapeva, an indigenous name meaning “flat rock” is a 1,950meter-high peak located on Serra da Mantiqueira. The borderline between Pindamonhangaba and Campos do Jordão is close to it. On clear days, it is possible to observe the Vale do Paraíba region almost entirely from the plateau at its summit.
TRABIJÚ MUNICIPAL ECOLOGIC RESERVE
The reserve is a 5,904,800m2 Environment Protection area on Serra da Mantiqueira (mountain range), located 14km from the center of Pindamonhangaba. It is one of the most beautiful nature conservation spots in Vale do Paraíba and South Region of Minas Gerais State.
It is a Portuguese traditional tapestry-making technique incorporated as traditional craftwork in Brazil. The tapestries are embroidered by the people assisted by Pindamohangaba’s Disabled Association. The “ Arraiolo Project” has been developed by the Municipality and by the State Solidary Social Fund as a means of developing skills and integrating the disabled into society.
This project has been developed in Pindamonhangaba since 1993, and has already attended approximately 2,000 citizens with ages ranging from 12 to 70 years. The Cultural Workshops give the population the opportunity to acquire art knowledge and enter the labor market.
FESTE – NATIONAL THEATER FESTIVAL
The Annual National Theater Festival (FESTE), which takes places in October, is the major cultural event in Pindamonhangaba and one of the oldest theater festivals in the State of São Paulo. It has been taking place for the last 27 years, with the Municipality´s sponsorship. It aims to offer theater groups the opportunity of showing their work and thus contribute to the theatrical culture.