Campinas Tourist Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsCampinas (founded 1774), 99km/62mi north-west of São Paulo, is the second largest city in São Paulo state.
It can be reached on SP 330 (via Anhanguera) or SP 348 (Rodovia dos Bandeirantes).Bus stationRua Br. de Parnaíba 690AirportAeroporto Internacional de ViracoposHistoryThe present city center was the site of an encampment established by bandeirantes from São Paulo. Later in the 18th century the fertile soil of this region also attracted farmers, who grew sugar-cane. About 1842, when there were already more than a hundred sugar-cane plantations in the area, came the coffee boom. Then the discovery and the extraction of minerals promoted the industrialization of the town, which has now developed into a major economic and industrial center.During the period of military dictatorship, thanks to the initiative of Colonel Zeferio Vaz, a large landowner, the São Paulo State University (Unicamp; founded 1969) offered refuge to many professors. The University now has some 100,000 students.
Bosque dos Jequitibás
Bosque dos JequitibásIn and around Campinas are extensive parks and forests. In the Bairro do Bosque, south-east of the city center on Rua Coronel Quirino (below the intersection of the Via Norte-Sul and Princesa do Oeste with Avenida Dr Moraes Salles), is the largest open space in the city, the Bosque dos Jequitibás, a nature reserve with a small zoo, springs and lakes which provide a home for fish and swans. Here too are the Carlos Maia Children's Theatre and four museums, the Folk Museum, the Indian Museum, the Historical Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Sights in CampinasThe FEPASA (São Paulo State Railways) station (1887) is south-west of the city center on Praça Marechal Floriano Peixoto, near the access road to the Anhanguera and Bandeirantes expressways.
Avenida Dr Costa Aguiar runs through the city center to Praça José Bonifácio. On this square is the Cathedral, built in 1883, with a classical-style façade and a neo-Baroque interior.
Avenidas Campos Salles and General Osório and Rua Bernardino de Campos run north-west parallel to Avenida Costa Aguiar. On Avenida Campos Salles is the Museu Histórico Campos Salles, in Rua Bernardino de Campos the Museu Carlos Gomes.
Carlos Gomes Monument and Tomb
Also in the city center, in Praça Bento Quirino, are a monument to the Campinas-born composer Carlos Gomes (1836-96) and his tomb.
Cultural CenterAvenida General Osório leads to Praças Carlos Gomes and Imprensa Fluminense, in which craft and antiques markets are held. In the later square is the Cultural Center (Centro de Convivància), with a theatre and an art gallery; this is also the home of the Municipal Symphony Orchestra.
Recantos dos Pássaros
Recantos dos PássarosAround Praças Carlos Gomes and Imprensa Fluminense are six recantos dos pássaros ("bird corners") - gardens frequented by song thrushes, goldfinches, coal tits and other wild birds.There are other similar gardens in Largo de Pará (on Via Norte-Sul), Chácara da Barra and the Jardim dos Chapadões.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary ArtOn Avenida Benjamin Constant, which cuts diagonally across the city, are the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Market Hall of 1908.
Prefecture Palácio dos AzulejosThe Prefecture lies just beyond the intersection of Avenida Benjamin Constant with Avenida Anchieta, which runs north-south. The former Prefecture, the Palácio dos Azulejos (1870), in Rua Regente Feijó, is one of the most handsome buildings in the city.
Parque PortugalIn the Bairro Parque Taquaral, in the north of the city (entrance in Avenida Heitor Penteado), is the Parque Portugal, with Lake Taquaral, the largest in Campinas. Here pedalos can be hired, and there are also a small tramway system, a carting track, a swimming pool, a roller-skating rink, a gymnasium and a planetarium.
Agricultural Institute (Research Center)
Agricultural InstituteAgricultural Research CenterTo the north of the city center, in the district of Guanabara, is the Agricultural Institute, which carries out important agricultural research (guided tours by appointment). On Avenida Brasil is the Agricultural Research Center (Fazenda Santa Eliza).
There are a number of attractions within a short distance of Campinas.
Mata Santa Genebra
Mata Santa GenebraIn the Mata Santa Genebra (area 250 hectares/625 acres), the green lung of Campinas, live many species of animals which are threatened with extinction. Some parts of the forest are open only to scientists and students.
ObservatoryThe Rio Atibaia flows through the district of Souzas, 12km/7.5mi north-east of Campinas. 20km/12.4mi beyond this, in the district of Joaquim Egídio, is the Capricórnio Observatory.
JaguariúnaA very popular weekend outing is a trip with the old steam engine "Maria-Fumaça" ("Smoky Mary") from Campinas to Jaguariúna, a town of 20,000 inhabitants 31km/19mi north-east of Campinas.
HolambraHolambra is a farming and stock-rearing co-operative whose land, with a total area of 15,000 hectares/37,500 acres, extends over the communes of Jaguariúna, Cosmópolis, Artur Nogueira and Santo Antìnio da Posse. It was founded by Dutch immigrants who settled in Brazil in 1948. Combining hundreds of production units under a single roof, the co-operative was able to grow into the largest exporter of plants in Brazil. It also rears sheep, cattle and pigs, and grows citrus fruits and grain.
Map of Campinas Attractions