Last modified: 2012-03-03 by ian macdonald
Keywords: parana | castro |
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A green-white-blue vertical tricolour bearing the municipal arms centred in the white stripe.
Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 12 July 2011
The municipality of Castro (67,082 inhabitants in 2010; 2,532 sq. km) is
located in central eastern Paraná, 160 km of Curitiba. Castro was originally
colonized on 19 March 1704 by Pedro Taques de Almeida, who built a small
chapel near River Iapó, close to a ford used by the cowboys conveying cattle
between Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. The increase in the number of "tropeiros"
using the ford caused the emergence of a small hamlet. The early colonization
of the region is recalled by the Tropeiro Museum, inaugurated in 1977 in the
oldest building of the town and the single museum of that kind in Brazil. The
town has kept several other historical buildings from the 18th-20th century.
The hamlet of Sant'Ana do Iapó was established on 5 March 1774 and renamed
Vila Nova de Castro on 20 January 1789 for Martinho de Melo e Castro
(1716-1795), Minister of the Navy (1770-1795) and Prime Minister (1785-1786)
of the Kingdom of Portugal. Made a "cidade" on 21 January 1857, Castro can be
considered as the oldest town in Paraná, therefore its nickname of "Mother
town of Paraná". During the Federalist Revolution, Castro was the short-lived
capital of Paraná in January-April 1894. The Terra Nova colony; located 15
km of the downtown, was established in 1933 by German colonists to produce
milk, grain and soybean. The Castrolanda colony, located 6 km of the
downtown, was established in 1951-1954 by Dutch colonists. The Dutch
colonization memorial "De immigrant" includes the highest windmill in South
America (37 m), built in 2001 by the Dutch engineer Jan Heijdra to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dutch colonization.
The flag of Castro is prescribed by Municipal Decree No. 57 of 29 August 1979.
The coat of arms of Castro is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 2 of 1949. The shield is of Portuguese shape, horizontally divided in two fields. The lower field shows in green the rich pastures with a bovine, a horse and an araucaria, the early sources of income of the municipality. River Iapó and, in the background, the mountains, limited two early domains ("sesmeiros") at the time of the big cattle estates and of the parish of Santana do Iapó (5 March 1774). The upper field shows on a blue background the pillory ("pelourinho"), the symbol of the Royal justice, as the symbol of the administrative organization of Vila Nova de Castro (21 January 1789). The shield is surmounted by an old municipality's mural crown, representing the "cidade" status. The shield is surrounded dexter by a maize plant and sinister by a wheat plant, each surmounted by a star representing the districts of Socavão and Abapan, respectively. I guess that the star above the mural crown represents the seat of the municipality. The scroll bears the name of the patron saint of the town ("Santana", St. Ann) and "26-7-1769", the date of the first mass given in the region, and, beneath, the name of the municipality and its date of emancipation ("21-1-1857").
Ivan Sache, 13 February 2012