Goiânia, the capital of the state of Goiás, a state in central Brazil, is a modern, bustling city of 1.093.007 (census of 2000) located on a fertile plain crisscrossed by numerous rivers, the most important being the Meia Ponte . It is 209 km from Brasília, 1338 km from Rio de Janeiro, 926 km from São Paulo, and 906 km from Belo Horizonte. The total area of the municipio is 748 square km
A planned city like Brasília and Belo Horizonte, Goiânia was founded on 24 October 1933 by Pedro Ludovico, the governor of the state of Goiás at the time.
There are highway connections to the federal capital, Brasília, by BR 060, recently converted into a four-lane highway, and to São Paulo by BR 153. Railway connections were never developed and all transportation of goods is carried out by highway. There is an airport, Santo Genoveva, which handles national flights.
The climate is tropical humid with an average temperature of 21.9 °C. The lowest average temperatures occur from May to August, 18.8 °C to 21.0 °C. The maximum lowest temperature recorded was 1.2 °C in July, the coldest month, although such lows are rare. Spring is the hottest season, with maximum temperatures averaging between 29 °C and 32 °C. Annual rainfall is around 1,400 mm.
The area around Goiânia is one of the richest in Brazil in agricultural production. Traditionally cattle were the main livelihood for the region and cattle-raising is still important. Recently, food industries have been installed in the city and the surrounding area and the tomato canning industry has grown substantially. Cotton, soybeans and sunflower oil have also contributed to the development of the city.
Goiânia is a sprawling city with numerous skyscrapers (see Photos of Goiâniafor photos of the most important) dominating the center and one-floor family homes spreading out across the verdant tree-covered plain. Many of the streets are lined with tropical fruit trees and there are many parks with remnants of the original tropical vegetation. Thirty percent of the city area is planted in trees—3.75 of the 11 square km.
The most important of these parks are the Parque Zoologico, Parque Vaca Brava, Parque Ecológico, Bosque dos Buritis and Parque Areião. In these places, refreshing lakes, vast vegetation and the sound of birds and animals can be appreciated. In Parque Areião there are still monkeys native to the area. Almost all of the parks are surrounded by walking paths.
Created in 1946, it contains over one thousand animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Five streams have their source in the park and there are numerous lakes.
Situated in the center of the city this is Goiânia’s oldest green area. It has an area of 120,000 square meters. There is a running track and exercise area and three artificial lakes created by Buriti Stream. We can also find the Goiânia Art Museum and the Free Center of Arts.
Vaca Brava Park
Every day at dawn dozens of people begin their daily activities by walking or jogging along the sidewalk that encloses Parque Vaca Brava. It has an area of 18,000 square meters and contains a lake, a forest with native species and places for exercise.
Cobra Veiga – Center for Snake Research
Located in an area of 44.000,50 m², it has an infrastructure for 750 serpents of different species, in addition to a laboratory and a rodent house. It s main activities are the extraction of poison for medicinal purposes, research on behaviour of serpents in captivity and the recuperation of degraded areas and the preservation of springs and their forest.
The most important museums are Museu Antropológico da Universidade Federal de Goiás, Instituto Goiano de Pré-História e Antropologia, Fundação Museu de Ornitologia, and Museu de Arte Contemporânea.
The leisure options are diversified. There are four shopping centres. In sports there are numerous gyms, public and private. The city has one of the most beautiful Brazilian football stadiums, the Serra Dourada, in addition to the International Racetrack Ayrton Senna, a Cart track and a horserace track.
Goiania has a federal university - the Universidade Federal de Goiás-and a major private university - Universidade Católica de Goiás- in addition to countless small private colleges.
History of the city
The idea of the transfer of the state capital came about from the need to locate it in accordance with the economic interests of the state. The first state capital – Vila Boa, today Goiás Velho – had been chosen when the economy was based on gold extraction. Later it was demonstrated that cattle-raising and agriculture had become the most important factors in development and the old state capital was too out of the way.
Legislators kept the idea of a change alive for a long time. In 1891 the constitutional delegates made the idea of the transfer of the capital official including it in the constitution, ratifying it in 1898 and later in 1918.
Vaguely remembered until 1930, the idea of a change only became reality during the government of Pedro Ludovico, who was the new governor appointed for the state of Goiás after the military revolt of 1930. In 1932 a commission was created to choose the place where the new capital would be built. In 1933 the commission decided on the present location and the foundation stone was erected.
The plan was for a city of 50,000 with the shape of a concentric radius – streets in the form of a spoke, with the Praça Cívica as the center, with the seats of the state and municipal government – The Palace of Emeralds and the Palace of Campinas.
In 1937 a decree was signed transferring the state capital from the Cidade de Goiás to Goiânia. The official inauguration only occurred in 1942 with the presence of the president of the republic, governors, and ministers.
The name, Goiânia, came about in 1933 after a contest was put on by a local newspaper. Readers from all over the state contributed, with some of the most voted names being Petrônia, Americana, Petrolândia, Goianópolis, Goiânia, Bartolomeu Bueno, Campanha, Eldorado, Anhanguera, Liberdade, Goianésia, and Pátria Nova, among others. In 1935 Pedro Ludovico used the name Goiânia for the first time signing a decree creating the municipio of Goiânia.
In 1987 one of the worst accidents with radioactive waste happened in the city. See Goiânia accident.
Official site of Goiânia
Photos of Goiânia