Santa Catarina Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsThe state of Santa Catarina lies in the deep south of Brazil, rising in stages from a narrow coastal plain into an upland region at around 900m/3000ft. It is bordered on the north by Paraná, on the south, beyond the Rio Pelotas and Rio Uruguai, by Rio Grande do Sul and on the west by Argentina. The main pillars of the economy are intensive agriculture and the extraction of coal and other minerals.HistoryThe region was colonized only in the late 17th century, and in 1808 Santa Catarina became an independent province. In the second half of the 19th century there was a great wave of immigration by Germans, whose descendants now account for around 15% of the population, and they were later followed by Italians. German customs and traditions are still maintained, and sometimes commercialized.
Treze Tilias, Brazil
Treze TíliasSituation and CharacteristicsTreze Tílias ("Thirteen Lime-Trees") lies in the center of Santa Catarina state, some 500km/310mi west of Florianópolis. The town was founded in 1933 by Andreas Thaler (1883-1939), a former minister of agriculture in Austria, who thus made possible a new life for impoverished peasant families from the Tirol.The townThis little town, built in the style of the Alpine countries, lies in a setting reminiscent of the upland regions of Europe. The inhabitants have preserved their European heritage, speaking the dialect of the Vorarlberg region of Austria, wearing their traditional costumes and enjoying the substantial dishes of their homeland.The traditional-style Hotel Tirol serves the best Austrian cuisine in Brazil.WoodcarversThe woodcarvers who work here are known throughout Brazil. Gotfredo Thaler, a grandson of the town's founder, carved the great figure of Christ in Brasília Cathedral.