by Thomas Buechler - 2 years, 9 months ago
Not only has Belem an attractive location, next to the great Amazonas river; it has also renovated the waterfront nicely, and converted the old the former warehouses into modern restaurants and stylish boutiques, so life is coming back to the Estaçao das Docas. Another place to visit is the Teatro da Paz which is one of a handful of beautiful Brazilian Opera houses constructed under Portuguese colonial rule with mostly imported materials; it symbolizes the wealth of this epoque when some people got rich very quickly with gold mines and export of minerals and raw materials, by the turn of the 19th century. Normally the tours of the theater are every hour, and just in Portuguese language, but when they learnt that I did not understand the language, they were quick to organize an English speaking guide. The square in front of the theater- Praca da Republica - is in desperate need of some urgent repair, but has some nice mounuments and statues of the Belle Epoque. But the real symbol of Belem you will find in the Ver o Peso (literally translated see the weight) market, it ist he iron-built fish market which was manufactured in England; ist advisable to go there early morning when the fishermen unload their goods in the little port just nextdoor.