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Piratininga became São Paulo: the old college is today a metropolis

Jesuit priests José de Anchieta and Manoel da Nóbrega walked up the Serra do Mar mountains in 1553 to find out a safe place to catechize native Indians; reaching Piratininga plateau, they found the ideal location. “Cold and tempered winds like in Spain” and “a healthy and fresh land and good waters" called their attention.

They built a college on a low hill, close to river Tamanduateí and Anhangabaú, where they said a mass. It was January 25, 1554, the date we celebrate the anniversary of São Paulo. Almost five centuries late, the small village of Piratininga became an 11,000,000 inhabitant city. Only the foundations of the buildings made by priests and Indians are left in Pateo do Collegio.

Piratininga had 157 years to become a city named São Paulo, decision ratified by the king of Portugal. At that time, São Paulo still was the starting point of ‘bandeiras’, expeditions designed to enslave indigenous peoples and to find precious metals and stones.
In 1815, the city became the capital of São Paulo Province. Eleven years later, the first graduation course was opened, the School of Law in Largo São Francisco. Since them, São Paulo became an important intellectual and political center in Brazil. But only after the coffee culture expansion, in the end of the century 19, that São Paulo became an important economic center. Immigrants from all over the world came to work in harvests and, then, in the growing industrial park in the city. More than a half of inhabitants of São Paulo were immigrants in the middle of the 1890s.

In the beginning of the 30s, the elite of the State of São Paulo faced the federal government, leading to the Constitutional Revolution in 1932 that began on July 9, (today a State holiday); after three weeks of fighting, São Paulo lost the action. The State had been isolated in political scene, but new education institutions were not avoided. Founded in 1935, the University of São Paulo received important professors, like French anthropologist Lévi-Strauss.

During the 40s, São Paulo also had important urban intervention, especially in transport system; industry became the main economic engine in São Paulo. The growing workforce needs in both sectors called people from a number of States in Brazil, mainly from the Northeastern area.

During the 70's, services also had an outstanding position in the São Paulo economy. Industries moved to cities in Greater São Paulo, such as the ABCD region (Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo, São Caetano do Sul and Diadema). Today São Paulo is the financial heart in Latin America still receiving people friendly to work and live in São Paulo, in a tolerant environment, respecting diversity of creeds, ethnic groups, sexual orientation and tribes.