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History of São Paulo

Origin and Foundation

foundation of são paulo
Brazil Travel / Mata Atlântica – The history of São Paulo began prior to the official discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral, with the presence of Indian villages on the Piratininga highland (actual Paulista plateau). One of these villages belonged to the regional Tupiniquim leader Tibiriçá.

João Ramalho and Antônio Rodrigues, two Portuguese who stranded in Brazil during the pre-colonial time and who were married to the daughters of the local tribal chiefs, also were living on the plateau.

In 1532, after the official foundation of São Vicente, both guided Martim Afonso de Sousa via the Tupiniquim Trail to the highland. Eventually, de Sousa founded a little settlement there or at least a military outpost. With the foundation of Santos by Brás Cubas, an old inhabitant of this region, São Vicente lost its position as the principal port.

In 1549, Tomé de Sousa, the first general governor of Brazil and six Jesuits, supervised by Manuel da Nóbrega, arrived in Salvador. Both, Sousa and Nóbrega visited the captaincy of São Vicente in 1553. When they went up to the highland, they found several dispersed settlements, which Tomé de Sousa unified in form of a village. At an unknown location, close to the border of the plateau, nearby a small chapel named after the apostel Santo André, Tomé de Sousa founded the village of Santo André (da Borda do Campo). João Ramalho was nominated mayor of this village.

At the end of the same year, Manuel da Nóbrega decided to construct a Jesuit chapel and a college nearby the village of Indian chief Tibiriçá (actual historical center of São Paulo). There, on the hill between the Tamanduateí and Anhangabaú rivers, on January 25, 1554 (feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul), the Jesuit priests celebrated the first mass of the Piratininga highlands. It is considered the official birthday (foundation) of São Paulo.

In 1560, having formed a little settlement around the Jesuit college, being threatened by constant attacks of the Carijó and Tamoio Indians, Mem de Sá, Brazil's third general governor, at request of the Jesuit priests, ordered the resettlement of the village of Santo André to the vicinity of the college. This resettlement gave rise to the genesis of the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere – Mountain Bike Tours / Brazil.

See also: São Paulo City Tour