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Notes on the Geography of Brazil: São Paulo: Photo 9

world pictures Brazil: São Paulo

It's hard to find houses from the early days, but here's a description of the town from about 1890: "The streets are narrow, but have both centre and side pavements, and the houses are of earth, plastered over, and of clean, comfortable, and cheerful appearance. They are all roofed with tile, and for the most part two stories high, with occasional balconies." (Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World, 1893.) For lack of such a street surviving, try this late 18th century colonial mansion, the Solar de Marquesa de Santos; named for the Marchioness of Santos, who lived here for 30 years, including a stint as the mistress of Dom Pedro I. It's the oldest surviving house in the city. The gate on the left marks a passage downhill to a stream. The alley has been opened and closed over the years. When the Marchioness bought the house in 1834, she quite properly closed it, much as, with equal propriety, fatcat fbeachfront owners in recent decades at Malibu blocked access to the ocean. The gate itself was added in the 1990s to mark the passageway, open once again.

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