Posted on January 25, 2017
If you had asked me, earlier this morning, what the largest city in the Americas was (that is, in North AND South America), I would've confidently guessed “New York City.”
I would've been wrong!
Sao Paulo is the 12th largest city in the world, by population, and the largest city in the Americas. It's also the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere.
Naturally, that means it's also the largest city in Brazil and in South America!
Founded as a Jesuit college by Portuguese and Spanish priests, on this date in 1554, and named after St. Paul, Sao Paulo grew to become a village and then a town and then (in the early 1700s) a city. It started out as a very poor, humble settlement but is now the largest economy (as measured by GDP – Gross Domestic Product) in Latin America and in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sao Paulo is also a total melting pot. Naturally, plenty of people are Portuguese, Spanish, indio, and mixtures of these three, but the city is also home to to the largest Arab, Italian, and Japanese diasporas (a diaspora is the scattering of people from their original homeland) and also one of the largest urban Jewish populations in the world.
Sao Paulo is known as Land of the Drizzle (Terra da Garoa).
It's known for the size of its helicopter fleet; with about 500 registered choppers, it has the biggest fleet in the world.
It's known for its architecture, especially its skyscrapers.
It's known for its severe traffic congestion.
It's known for its food.
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