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Iraí, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2020-07-25 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do sul | iraí |
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Ipiranga do Sul, RS (Brazil) image located by Ivan Sache, 19 July 2020
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The municipality of Iraí (7,969 inhabitants in 2016; 18,219 ha) is located 450 km of Porto Alegre, on the border with Santa Catarina state, here river Uruguai.

Iraí was settled in 1893 by a dozen of supporters of the Federalist Revolution who had fled Cruz Alta. After a 120 km voyage, they eventually settled near Honey River (named for the bees thriving nearby) and profuse sources of freshwater they called Águas do Mel (Honey Waters).
Colônia Guarita was officially established in 1908, although the place remained known as Águas do Mel. The place was settled in 1911 by colonists from Caias do Sul and Guaporé; in 1914, the bathing area was incorporated to the 8th district of Palmeira das Missões. The fame of the miraculous water, however, spread all over Rio Grande do Sul and the town of Águas do Mel was officially established on 8 March 1916. The next year, an expedition sent by the state identified five sulphur-bearing sources in the region; Antônio Villanova was appointed the first administrator of the Commission of Management of the Irahy Mineral Waters. Nestor Westphalen inaugurated the first hotel in 1919; the same year, Dr. Hildebrando Westphalen, who had studied the healing properties of the water, opened a first official medical post.
A town soon developed, named Cruzeiro do Sul. Aware that an other Crueziero do Sul existed in Santa Catarina, the government of Rio Grande do Sul changed the name of the town to Irahy, in Tupi-Guarany, Honey Waters. The municipality of Irahy was established by State Decree No. 5,368 issued on 1 July 1933, and inaugurated on 13 August 1933. Iraí was substituted to Irahy in 1937 as the municipality's name. The engineers Torres Gonçalces abd Saturino de Britovwere were commissioned by the government to lead the new town's urban planning.
The Osvaldo Cruz spa is built around a rocky source that gushes forth mineral after (4L/s; 36.5C). The Iraí water was proclaimed Brazil and South America's best and world's second mineral healing water
Municipal Chamber website

Ivan Sache, March 2012


The flag of Iraí is vertically divided into three stripes, the outer green, the central yellow with a blue wavy base and a honeycomb emblem in the center surmounting the black writing "IRAÍ - RS".


Ivan Sache, 19 July 2020