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.
Colônia 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!
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.
A 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!
For 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.
For 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.
Witmarsum has now its own craft beer, the Usinamalte. You will find it in several restaurants and cafés. It is worth to try it!
Another 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.
Wirtmarsum 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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- 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.