We often think that to travel we need to visit faraway places, other countries, when, in reality, there are incredible places to be visited near you. Especially now with shutdowns and travel restrictions in response to the pandemic, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore places near you (once it’s permitted to do so and taking all necessary precautions, of course)!
One of the traditions we started in my family is to explore places around us. Almost every weekend we visit somewhere new and appreciate the different colors and scents that these places can bring us. It’s definitely what I most enjoy doing with them.
Today I’m going to share with you a little piece of the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. These days my family and I visited a city called São Francisco do Sul (San Francisco of the South) which is very close to Joinville, the city where I live, and we were simply delighted.
São Francisco do Sul is the oldest city in Santa Catarina and the third oldest in Brazil. It was founded by the Portuguese, Spanish, and Azoreans, which becomes clear through its architecture. Its economy revolves around the wharf, and there are some tourist attractions there, despite being few.
MUNICIPAL PUBLIC MARKET
After 4 years of construction, the Municipal Market of São Chico, as it’s affectionately called, was opened on January 20, 1900, and served the public in the central area and beyond as a shopping center. Nowadays, if you go for a walk there on Sundays, you will find a farmer’s market set up in front of the market where local fishermen, artisans, and businesses sell their products.
Leaving the market you come straight to one of my favorite parts, the wharf. You can have a meal here overlooking the Babitonga Bay or enjoy a good book feeling the sun on your skin and the cool breeze coming from the water.
Walking around São Francisco makes you feel like you are walking through a little piece of Portugal. Its colorful and cozy houses with their unique architecture give away the background of its settlers. For many generations, these houses were home to traditional Franciscan families. Now listed as a historical heritage, they’re a small piece of the history of the colonization of southern Brazil.
Towering over the streets of San Francisco, buildings almost as old as the city itself bring the nostalgia of the times, dazzle tourists, and beautify the island. These houses were built with materials in abundance at the time: stones, sand, mortar and seashells, and whale oil.
As a result of the residents’ decision to build a new church, the Matriz Church was founded in 1665 and houses the image of Our Lady of Grace carved in wood. The image was brought over by the Spanish in 1553.
I hope you enjoyed this journey through the beautiful island of São Francisco do Sul. If you are passing by someday, feel free to call me to show you all the little places I know!
Until the next post…