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Dutch Settlements: a great tour close to Curitiba

Dutch Settlements: a great tour close to Curitiba

The settlement Castrolanda is located in Castro, in Paraná Estate. Its original area was 5,000 hectars and was the new home for Dutch immigrants that left Europe after the World War II. They arrived 1951 and were astonished about the size of the fields, totally different of what they had in Holland. Uniting the names Castro and Holland, the settlement started and the cooperative Castrolanda was founded.

memorial-castrolanda With the arrival of the Dutch families, agricultural infrastructure was brought. Exhibition at the Immigration Memorial.

But not everything was easy at the beginning. The pioneers had much work here and had to adapt to Brasil, with unknown cattle deseases and lack of technical assistance. But as they were allowed to bring their own equipment, they could establish a very successful dairy industry and developed quickly.

Milk Capital City 

At present days, Castrolanda cooperative is dedicated to expand business and achieve more space among the greatest cooperatives in Brazil. Their development is remarkable! Castro is known as the Milk Capital City due to the high productivity and quality reached here. Every year the event Agroleite is held here and presents exhibitions and new techniques to improve the milk production. It is the most complete event in the area in Brazil and a great opportunity for networking. 2016 the event will happen from 18th to 22nd October.

agroleite-castrolanda

► Entrance of “Cidade do Leite” – Milk City.
agroleite-castrolanda2Agroleite is one of the most important events of this area.

The cooperative built 1991 the Immigrant Museum that shows the history of the pioneer families who arrived here. The museum is located in an old house in European style. The furniture and objects were donated by the local families. A new museum is being built to have more space for exhibition. We will tell more when it is ready!

De Immigrant: one of the greatest windmills outside the Netherlands

In Castrolanda you will visit the windmill De Immigrant – the immigrant – inspired by the Woldzigt, located in Dentre, the hometown of many of the immigrants. The wings of the windmill are 26m long and its height is 35m. The windmill itself is a great attraction and inside you will visit the Dutch Immigration Memorial, in honor to the people who arrived here in the 1950´s. The museum is simply known as “windmill”  and was opened 2001, when the settlement completeted its 50 first years of existence. The windmills are the symbol for Holland and also for the cooperative.

moinho-de-immigrant-castrolanda
► Windmill De Immigrant in Castrolanda – it is also the Dutch Immigration Memorial.

Inside the memorial, a trip back in former times. Visitors can walk up 4 floors and have the chance to know more about the immigration, the history of the settlement and of the cooperative and enjoy the local built – curiosly, it is completely made of wood, without nails! The memorial has also a library and a typical Dutch pub. There is a souvenir shop! The Memorial is open from Friday to Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. Other days are subject to confirmation for groups of minimum 10 persons. For lunch or a coffee, you can make a stop in the local restaurant – Café de Molen, a rustic place that serves regular meals, nothing fancy.

memorial-da-imigração-holandesa

► Music instrument called Notenkraker.

castrolanda► Typical Dutch wooden shoes for pictures!

Biggest history open air museum in Brazil

When you arrive in Carambeí, you will have some more history about the Dutch immigration. Here, everything looks very real! You will visit the biggest history open air museum in Brazil spread over 100,000 sqm. In the middle of beautiful gardens you will find constructions like the ones from 1930´s to 1950´s. Visitors can imagine vividly how things where in the past. The memorial was created to preserve the memory of the pioneers, that left many benefits for the local community.

passeio-perto-de-curitiba-parque-histórico-carambeí (3)

► Right at the entrance you will cross a bridge brought from Holland!

The bulding from 1946 hosted the first part of the museum and is named “Casa da Memória” –  opened 2001. In 2011 the new part was ready: the historical village, true reproduction of the former houses in a 60% escale. Houses, train station, school, dairy industry, slaughter house, church and even the cemetery can be visited. All houses have objects from the past and remind the first years of the settlement. The “Parque das Águas” is the newest part of the museum and was opened 2015. It was inspired by the Zaanse Schanans, an environmental park in Holland.

Curiosity! Carambeí was the home of the first cooperative in Brazil, presently known as Batavo!

passeio-perto-de-curitiba-parque-histórico-carambeí (1)

carambeí-paranápasseio-perto-de-curitiba-parque-histórico-carambeí (4)► Architecture and much culture!

An interesting immersion in the local history and a great opportunity to see the local landscapes! A tour close to Curitiba for locals and tourists to experience the region from a different perspective, away from the beaten tracks. Do not forget your camera – the place is great for pictures!! There is also a souvenir shop with nice stuff to take home. Carambeí Historical Park opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm. At the memorial house the entrance is free. The entrance fee for the other areas costs R$ 15 per person. Children from 7 to 12 years old, students, teachers and blood donors pay half. Children up to 6 years old and older than 60 years old are free.

passeio-perto-de-curitiba-parque-histórico-carambeí (2)
► What about to take a souvenir home?

Pies and more pies at Frederica’s!

This tip is a very special one – and quite delicious!! For the pies lovers, Frederica´s Koffiehuis is a mandatory stop. Located at Carambeí, you will find here sweet and savory pies in a very nice ambiance. During weekends, live music. From Wednesday to Friday, special offers for craft beer and appetizers in the evening. It opens from Wednesday to Friday from 2pm to 9pm and weekends from 2pm to 8pm. Adress: Avenida dos Pioneiros, 1010 – Carambeí – (42) 3231-4401.

frederica's-carambeí

► A beautiful place to enjoy delicious pies!
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► Cruchy strawberry pie at Frederica´s!

Find more information about Curitiba and region in our guide – download it now for free!

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Witmarsum Settlement: a menonite experience close to Curitiba

Witmarsum Settlement: a menonite experience close to Curitiba

Paraná Estate is a melting pot of many different cultures. Close to Curitiba there is the Colônia Witmarsum, located 65 km from Curitiba. In a short trip you can now more about the menonites who came to Brazil and have a countryside experience.

The Colônia Witmarsum was founded by menonites who came from the town Witmarsum in Santa Catarina. Originated in Frisia – today a part of Holland and Germany – the menonites arrived in Santa Catarina in 1930 and a group of them came to Paraná Estate 1951. They searched for more land to establish with their families and bought the Cancela farm in Palmeira. The Colônia Witmarsum was founded as a place to work and live according to their religion and habits. With much dedication and effort, the settlement is now reference in the milk and cheese production and other agricultural products and is a pleasant destination for a tour.

museu-de-história-witmarsumColônia Witmarsum has about 2,000 inhabitants, 1,200 of them are menonites. They keep alive their traditons and the German language and cuisine. You will be delighted with the beautiful landscapes and enjoy the country atmosphere. A very nice and rather unknown tour that will make your trip more interesting!

→ Book a tour that unites the beutiful rock formations of Vila Velha with Witmarsum!

To know more about the history of the settlment and about the menonites, the Heimat Museum is a mandatory stop. The place was the former main house of the farm Cancela and has a collection of dear objects of the pioneers.

museu-witmarsum

colônia-witmarsum-museu-acervo-2colônia-witmarsum-museu-acervocolônia-witmarsum-museu-acervo-3A trip back in time! The museum opens weekends and holidays from 2pm to 5pm. For visits during the week, it is necessary to book ahead. The entrance fee costs R$ 5,00. The local history teacher Egon Phillipsen works at the museum and will tell more details about the menonites and the settlement. Our tours include always a tour guide that will make the tour more informative and attractive to you. More information and bookings here!

Right beside the museum there is a tourist information office, where you can also buy some local products. The place is very charming!

centro-de-informações-turísticas-witmarsumFor lunch, enjoy the local German cuisine. At Bela Vista you will try delicious and traditional food as spätze (a kind of pasta), sauerkraut, kassler, sausages and much more! Do not miss the blackberry juice and apple strudel.

almoço-em-witmarsumrestaurante-em-witmarsumFor an afternoon coffee, Café Kliewer is a good choice! There is an option where everything is included (café colonial) or you can also order individually pies, sandwiches, cookies and much more. A good infrastructure for kids, with playground. A nice and rustic place to end the tour.

There are also some stores with local products to take home. Local visitors love to buy the fine cheese produced there. The cheese production began 1999 with the help of a Swiss cheese specialist and made Witmarsum famous in the region. Delicious cheese sorts as asiago, camembert, brie, emmental, raclette, among others…

You will find the shop Toll right in front of Café Kliewer. It sells cute things from Germany, such as the famous “Räuchermännchen”. You will also find here Kuckkuck clocks, decoration articles and local products.

loja-artesanato-witmarsumartesanato-alemão-witmarsumWitmarsum has now its own craft beer, the Usinamalte. You will find it in several restaurants and cafés. It is worth to try it!

usinamalte-witmarsum-cervejariaAnother nice suggestion is to make a tractor tour at Tracktur. They take between 10 and 25 minutes inside of a local farm. A fun experience for the whole family! It is also possible to ride a poney at Ponyland on Saturdays and Sundays.

Passeio-de-Tracktur-witmarsumWirtmarsum is a very and different destination just 65 km away from Curitiba. A pleasant and quiet place. Do not expect a village with a central square. The farms are a bit away from each other because it was a former farm that was divided among the first settlers and each one developed different activities as time went by. Today many locals are dedicated to tourism and the number of visitors increase every year, especially during weekends.

Do you want to visit Witmarsum?

>> Tour Vila Velha and Witmarsum <<

Did you know that you can also book technical visits about agriculture and milk production? Just contact us and we will be delighted to help. Phone: +55 41 3232.1314 | Email: info@specialparana.com

Curiosities about the menonites and about Witmarsum

  • The menonites did not come directly from Germany – before that they had moved to Russia, but they kept their German traditons. They ran away from Russia 1929 because they would be forced to entry the army, what is against their faith.
  • Boqueirão, a neighborhood in Curitiba, also welcomed many menonites and the milk production was important there as well. They delivered milk to Curitiba´s homes and shops in the past.
  • Most inhabitants of Witmarsum speak German fluently and the local public school teaches German too
  • Witmarsum Cooperative produces fine cheese and high quality milk. The productors are located close to the industry unity, what guarantees more quality to the final product. The location at 1,000 m above sea level, the climate and pastures are importante for the cattle well-being.

colônia-witmarsum-turismo-rural

  • According to the menonite pastor Fridbert August, the menonites are anabaptists. They were part of the Luther reform that gave access to the Bible to all christians, defended the separation between Government and Church and also the batism was made at adult age. In present days, the menonites are known for looking steadly to follow what Jesus said, for their peace principles and for their community lives. Colônia Witmarsum is a great example of that.
  • Amish is a conservative Christian group that lives in the USA and Canada. They are “cousins” to the menonites. Menonites are more progressive and less rigorous. The Amish, by instance, do not allow the use of technology, as automobiles and phones.

Find more information about Curitiba and region in our guide – download it for free now! curitiba-guide-youtube