Last modified: 2021-12-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: santa catarina | ilhota |
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image by Ivan Sache,
3 November 2021
The municipality of Ilhota (14,184 inhabitants in 2019; 25,344 ha) is located
120 km north-west of Florianópolis.
Ilhota's colonization started on 31 March 1842, when engineer Charles Maximiliano Luiz Van Lede, Joseph Philippe Fontaine, and geologist Guilherme Bouliech, guided by José Alves de Almeida, initiated the exploration of rivers Itajaí-Açu and Itajaí Mirim. Having worked for years in South America, Van Lede returned in 1841 to his birth country, Belgium, where he registered the Companhia Belga-Brasileira de Colonizaçã (Belgian-Brazilian Colonization Co.), aimed at the development of mining, trade and agriculture in Santa Catarina by Belgian colonists. On 12 February 1842, he boarded to Brazil to explore Santa Catarina and to set a project of colonial contract with the Brazilian Imperial Government. Van Lede eventually selected a suitable area in Ilhota, a small island ["ilha"] in the river.
On 6 July 1844, after the validation of the project and in spite of difficulties to acquire land in Santa Catarina, Van Lede and the Lebon brothers acquired a 2,150-ha plot from priest Rodrigues in the place called Prainha; on 21 November 1844, they acquired another 1,200 ha from Rita Luisa Aranha, and on 2 January 1845, they acquired 2,100 ha from Lieutenant-Colonel Henrique Flores.
Ninety Belgian colonists settled on 24 November 1844 on the small island, which subsequently disappeared because of the increase of the river's water level caused by floods in 1880 and 1911. The colony was officially recognized on 28 July 1845 by the Chamber of Deputies of Santa Catarina.
On 20 May 1846, Pierre Van Loo, an immigrant from Ghent, established a subsidiary of the colony, introducing flax cultivation in Brazil. The same year, upset by the difficulties experienced by the colony, Van Lede eventually returned to Belgium; the Companhia Belga-Brasileira de Colonizaçã was suppressed and the colony's administration was transferred to Fontaine. Revolted by his lack of care, the colonists asked for the leave of Fontaine, which occurred only two years later. Fontaine brought with him important documents and the church's bell the early settlers had brought from Belgium.
Van Lede died in 1875, bequeathing his property rights on the colony to the hospital of Bruges, which initiated a long struggle by the colonists to recover the land. The district of Ilhota was established on 26 August 1930 and inaugurated on 14 February 1931.
The municipality of Ilhota was established by State Law No. 348 issued on 21 June 1958, separating from Itajaí, and inaugurated on 31 January 1959.
Ivan Sache, 3 November 2021
A white flag with a dark blue lozenge, bearing the municipal arms in the centre.
Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 18 June 2012
The flag and arms of Ilhota are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 164
promulgated on 25 August 1971.
The coat of arms has the following characteristics and descriptions.
a) A shield surmounted by a mural crown, representing the union of people and the force of the municipality.
b) A blue rectilinear stripe crossing the shield from the lower right corner to the upper left corner, representing river Itajaí-Açú that waters Ilhota from south to east.
c) In the upper right corner, three stripes, red, yellow and black, recalling the Belgian origin of the town.
d) In the same field, a white thunderbolt representing SOTELCA - Sociedade de Termo Elétrico de Capivari S.A. [now Eletrosul - Centrais Elétricas do Sul do Brasil S.A.] -, the center supplying electric energy to the neighboring towns of Blumenau, Itajaí, Gaspar, Brusque, Camboriú and Navegantes, and to the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo, as well.
e) In the lower left field emerges majestically Morro do Baú, the main height of Serra do Mar in the area of Itajaí Valley.
f) On each side, the main products of the municipality, sugarcane on the left and rice on the right.
g) In the lower part a scroll inscribed "Ilhota o Encanto do Vale" [Ilhato Enchantment of the Valley], recalling the natural beauties of the valley of Itajaí-Açú, its mountains and plains.
h) On the same scroll, two dates:
I - "1945", the foundation year;
II - "1952", the year of inauguration of the municipality.
The flag of the municipality of Ilhota shall be compliant with the heraldic norms prescribed by Law No. 5,443 promulgated on 28 May 1968, Article 5, Items I and II, with the following colors:
a) A white rectangle, representing peace in the municipality and the public administration in general.
b) A blue lozenge representing the beauties of river Itajaí-Açú and the sky.
c) In the center, the coat of arms described in Article 2 of this Law.
Leis Municipais database
Ivan Sache, 3 November 2021