Sao Vicente, Brazil Tourist Attractions
São VicenteSituation and CharacteristicsSão Vicente, founded in 1532 (the first vila in Brazil), lies on the west side of the island of São Vicente, off Santos. It is linked with São Paulo (78km/48mi north-west) by the Rodovia dos Imigrantes (SP 160).Bus stationPraça 22 de JaneiroHistoryThe oldest settlement in Brazil, which had grown out of a Portuguese trading post near the island of Porchat, was overwhelmed by the sea in 1541 and thereafter rebuilt on its present site. It was the seat of the capitania of São Vicente from its early years until 1624, and again from 1679 to 1682, when the seat of government moved to São Paulo. After an unsuccessful attempt to grow sugar-cane in the damp soil of the region the inhabitants of the settlement turned to hunting the Indians and panning for gold in the rivers - a foretaste of the ruthless activities of the bandeirantes.
São Vicente Mártir
São Vicente MártirThe church of São Vicente Mártir (built 1542, rebuilt 1757) has sacred figures of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Particularly fine is a clay statue of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (Our Lady of the Rosary) by João Gonçalves Viana (mid 16th century).
Parque das Naus
Parque das NausAt the end of the suspension bridge linking São Vicente with Praia Grande are the ruins of the Parque das Naus, a sugar-mill of 1580.
Museum of Historical Institute
Museum of Historical InstituteIn the Museum of the Historical Institute (Museu Geral do Instituto Histórico) the colonial furniture, ceramics and Indian craft products are of particular interest.
Praia da Gonzaguinha
GonzaguinhaEvery year on January 22nd the landing by the Portuguese navigator Martim Afonso de Sousa and his taking possession of the land are reenacted on the Praia da Gonzaguinha near the town.
ItararéParanapuãTo the north of the Praia da Gonzaguinha are Prainha and the beaches of Itararé and Paranapuã. At Itararé are a monument to Martim Afonso de Sousa and the Oceanarium, an amusement park with trained dolphins and seals. In January this is the venue of the Inter-State Hang-Gliding Competition (Torneio Interestadual de Voo Libre). During the Festas Juninas (June Festival) the Itararé beach is crowded with stalls selling local specialties and with dance groups.
PorchatOn the island of Porchat, on the boundary between São Vicente and Santos (reached from Praia de Itararé), are some of São Vicente's most fashionable clubs and restaurants.