Capital of Paraná state, on the Curitiba River, southeast Brazil, situated on the Serra do Mar plateau at an altitude of 900 m/2,593 ft; population (2014 est) 1,864,400; metropolitan area (2005 est) 3,141,400. It is connected by rail to its seaport Paranaguá, 80 km/50 mi to the east. Curitiba is in the centre of a rich agricultural region which produces timber, coffee, yerba maté, and cereals. Industries include paper, textiles, chemicals, and furniture. Coffee, timber, and maté (a beverage) are exported. It has a cathedral (1893) modelled on the cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, and is the site of the Federal University of Paraná. The city was founded in 1648 as a gold-mining camp and made capital of the state in 1853.
The city has a well defined historic quarter and pedestrianized commercial precinct focusing on ‘Rua das Flores’. The historic quarter is dominated by two of Curitiba's oldest churches. Igresa da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco das Chagas, dating from 1737 is the city's oldest surviving building and one of the best preserved examples of Brazilian ecclesiastical architecture in southern Brazil. Nossa Senhora do Rosário dates from 1737 and was specifically built for the slave population.
The city of Curitiba is world renowned for urban planning and residents enjoy Brazil's highest standard of living. The city is very European in character due to the high percentage of European immigrants who settled in the region.
Curitiba – ‘Land of Abundant Pine Cones’