World Cup Brazil 2014: Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre ( “Joyous Port” or “Happy Harbour”) is the eleventh most populous city in Brazil and the nucleous of Brazil’s fourth largest metropolitan area (smaller than Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte). Porto Alegre is the only city in the World to boast two clubs which were World Champions: Grêmio (1983) and Internacional (2007).

With such credentials, it was no surprise that Porto Alegre was appointed as one of the host cities of the World Cup 2014. After a fierce dispute among the two clubs, FIFA decided that matches in the city will be held in International arena, the Beira-Rio, which will be refurbished for the World Cup.

It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, and for that reason it is the capital further into the temperated zone, and presents the lowest average temperatures in Brazil. However, it must be noticed that Porto Alegre is as far to the South as, for example, Miami is to to the  North; also, the entire Europe is further to the North than Porto Alegre.

Porto Alegre is one of the most important cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil. Two Mercosul countries, Argentina and Uruguay, border Rio Grande do Sul, and several transnational companies have offices in Porto Alegre.

Porto Alegre was founded in 1742 by immigrants from the Azores, Portugal. In the late 19th century the city received many immigrants from other parts of the world, particularly Germany, Italy, and Poland. The vast majority of the population is of European descent.

The city lies on the eastern bank of the Rio Guaiba (Guaiba River), which converge along with other five rivers to form the Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks), a giant freshwater lagoon navigable by even the largest of ships. This five-river junction has become an important alluvial port as well as a chief industrial and commercial center of Brazil.

Porto Alegre has a long coastline on the Guaíba Lake, and its topography is punctuated by 40 hills. In the lake, a vast body of water, a maze of islands facing the city creates an archipelago where a unique ecosystem makes possible abundant wildlife. The city area concentrates 28% of the native flora of Rio Grande do Sul, with 9,288 species. Among these, there are many trees which are the vestiges of the Atlantic Forest. Fauna are also diversified, specially in the islands and hills.

Until a few years ago, Porto Alegre hosted the World Social Forum, an initiative of several non-government organizations; after a more right-wing oriented Government was elected, the Forum moved to India.

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2 Responses to “World Cup Brazil 2014: Porto Alegre”

  1. World Cup Brazil 2014: Curitiba « World Cup in Brazil Says:

    […] Curitiba was chosen by FIFA as one of host cities of the World Cup 2014. Games will take place at the stadium Arena da Baixada, which belongs to Atletico Paranaense club; this is going to be the smallest stadium of the Cup, and one of the three private stadia (the other ones will be Morumbi, in Sao Paulo, and Beira Rio, in Porto Alegre). […]

  2. World Cup in Brazil « World Cup in Brazil Says:

    […] twelve cities which will host matches of the World Cup 2014: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza, Cuiaba, […]

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