The cathedral, a history class and Mercadão

As I mentioned in my last post, last Saturday was an amazing day because I got to see some new beautiful places in São Paulo. First we went to Liberdade, the Oriental (Japanese, Chinese and Corean in this case) neighbourhood where there was a market and a garden with food stands. After some delicious dumplings and fried vegetables with shrimps we went to see the cathedral, or the Sé like the Brazilians say. In front of the cathedral there’s a very nice square called Praça da Sé (The Cathedral Square) with a point called Marco Zero (The Zero Mark) which is the most central point of the city of São Paulo. Let’s have a look:

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Praça da Sé

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The Marco Zero showing which states and cities are in which direction from this point

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After visiting the cathedral we went to Pateo do Collegio which is where São Paulo was funded back in 1554. The city has its name from the apostle Paul and was funded by the Jesuits, therefore there’s a church there, but also a museum, a café and a little garden. We paid 4 reais (student price, for adults I think it’s about 8-10 reais) for seeing an exhibition of how São Paulo was funded and some old city maps, seeing a collection of items from when the Amerindians were the only ones here and listening to a short (but good!) version of Brazilian history and the Portuguese (Jesuit) arrival in the country. There was also a third exhibit, but my boyfriend and I were too tired to see it. We’ll probably be back soon anyway. Here are some photos:

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This is from the wall outside the building. My translation would be: «This city was born here under Christ’s cross and dedicated to the Apostle Paul by the Jesuits father Manuel da Nóbrega and brother José de Anchieta, among others. January 25, 1554 AD.»

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The visit was very interesting and we got to hear about how the place was first a church, then a government palace and then the church was reconstructed again. If you ever go to São Paulo and are interested in history, you should pay Pateo do Collégio a visit.

After the museum we went to Mercadão or Mercado Muncipial de São Paulo if you like. It’s the city’s municipal market, but it’s not like the street markets I’ve posted about before. This is more elegant and therefore also more expensive, but it was a nice experience going there. I definitely should go back to take more photos because I was so tired when we got there that I only took a few. Take a look here:

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So much fruit I’ve never seen before! Hahaha, I love it!

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When we first arrived we walked around to see everything, but after a little while I was so hungry that we went to a good and cheap restaurant that my boyfriend always goes to when he’s at the market. It’s called Hocca Bar and it has both a «diner» (on the 1st floor) and a nicer restaurant (on the 2nd floor, look for the stairs behind the «diner»). My friend Meli had one of the most typical food you can it at the Mercadão, the Sanduíche Tradicional (mortadela) which is a sandwich with lots of mortadela, a sliced meat (for Norwegians: it’s similar to servelat). I had the fried pastel with shrimps and my boyfriend had one with cod fish. Pastel is another very typical thing from São Paulo and the best ones are from Mercadão. It’s the same as fried empanadas in Chile (and other Latin American countries?) and for those of you who know what a calzone is, it’s similar to that, but fried instead of baked in the oven. Haha, I don’t know if you got any of this, but next time I go to Mercadão I promise to take my camera and actually take some pictures of the amazing food!

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Ok, so in the photo above it says impostômetro, which means something like tax measurer. This shows how many reais have been paid in taxes in Brazil so far this year. That means that when you stand there and watch it, it keeps running all the time and it will continue until December 31. I’ll try to remember to take another photo in December to show you how much they pay a year. For anyone interested trilhões are trillions, bilhões are billions, milhões are millions, mil are thousands, reais are the Brazilian currency and centavos are the cents of the reais (100 centavos per 1 real).

That’s it for now. I have some more photos to show you and someone has requested some posts about my university and our apartment, so I’ll work on that. Until next time!

– Guro

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