Ibirapuera Park – The Central Park of São Paulo

Ibirapuera Park (in Portuguese Parque do Ibirapuera) is a major urban park in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It has a large area for leisure, jogging and walking, as well as a convention center. Its importance to São Paulo is comparable to the Central Park in New York City.

Ibirapuera is the second biggest park in the city, allegedly losing out to the lesser-known Carmo Park in the neighborhood of Itaquera. Admission is free of charge, but get there early as the park, although huge, is very popular.

When I was there on a random Sunday in April, the park was packed and there were people of all sorts out and about. All kinds of sports-related activities were happening all around, vendors come there to sell drinks and ice-cream, bicycle taxis were readily available, musicians were trying to make a buck, even a guy in a spiderman costume was taking pictures with kids.

Mini-History

Inaugurated in 1954 for the 400 anniversary of the city with buildings designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape by famous designer Roberto Burle Marx, Ibirapuera Park covers an area of almost two square kilometers. Before being a park, it was an Amerindian village in pre-colonial times. The name comes from the native Tupi-Guarani langauge and it means ‘wood that already was’, which in Portuguese is translated to ‘pau podre‘ (rotten wood).

Park Complex

The park complex contains several buildings, most of them designed by Oscar Niemeyer. They include such structures as:

  • The Old City Hall of São Paulo
  • The Museum of Modern Art (Pictured Below, where São Paulo Fashion Week takes place)
  • The Museum of Aeronautics and The Museum of Folklore (Pictured Below)
  • The Planetarium, Gymnasium, and the Japanese Pavillion
  • The Ibirapuera Auditorium (Pictured below, which was on Neimeyer’s original design but only recently built. It is also where many high-profile musical events take place)

A few other pictures of Ibirapuera, mainly of the large lake at the center of the park.

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