The European Valley brings together more than 15 cities that have in common the presence of the rich European cultural heritage. The German, Italian, Polish and Russian descent is alive throughout the Itajaí Valley, not for nothing, the region came to be officially called the European Valley. To get to know the region in detail, check out three options for itineraries that depart from Blumenau.
Blumenau and Pomerode: German culture in the European Valley
Blumenau, colonized by Germans, is the concrete record of the influence of that country's culture and customs. The historic center of Blumenau is the right attraction to discover this important European legacy. There are gathered the main museums of the city: the Museum of Beer, the Museum of the Colonial Family and the Museum of Habits and Customs. Reserve the morning to visit them and discover memories and curiosities that portray the history of the city and the people who inhabited it. The Colonial Family Museum, for example, is the former home of the city's founder, Dr. Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau and has 6.200 pieces belonging to the founder and his family. It is, without a doubt, an unmissable attraction.
Another option to understand more about the history of German colonization in the region is to spend an afternoon in the most German city in Brazil, Pomerode. Just 30 km from Blumenau, the city is a mandatory stop for those who want to know the European Valley. The municipality of Pomerode has the largest number of half-timbered houses (typical German architectural style). The Enxaimel Route is one of the main walks in the city. Here, tourists can get to know the architectural style present especially in Testo Alto, a UNESCO heritage site. In addition to architecture, it is possible to visit workshops of local artisans and artists.
A visit to both destinations is a true journey into the past and the traditions built by immigrants and their descendants.
Blumenau and Apiúna: adventure and contemplation through the Atlantic Forest
For adventurers and nature lovers, the European Valley is the right place. With a large part of the Atlantic Forest preserved and several rivers, the region invites you to practice extreme sports and to contemplate nature.
The day can start at Serra do Itajaí National Park, in Blumenau. With 57.000 hectares of Atlantic Forest, the park allows the practice of rafting, abseiling, hiking and cycling. Nascentes Park, within the National Park, has four trails with different degrees of difficulty and routes through rivers and mountains. It will be difficult not to be enchanted by the natural beauties of the region.
To continue the day in the midst of nature, the city of Apiúna is worth a visit afterwards. Just 50km from Blumenau, Apiúna is a city whose main attraction is ecotourism. From trails to abseiling and rafting, the destination offers several possibilities to venture through forests, waterfalls and rivers or even relax in the waters of a waterfall. The Andorinhas Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and accessible in the city. There it is possible to contemplate nature in a natural pool.
To end the day on a high note, the tip is Maria Fumaça along the Santa Catarina Railroad. Leaving Apiúna, the locomotive travels 2,8 km, which includes a tunnel and a stone viaduct with arches in a romantic style. From a certain stretch, the tour enters the Atlantic Forest, where you can see the Itajaí-Açu River, considered one of the best rivers for rafting in Brazil. The tour between the two cities reveals the numerous natural attractions available in the European Valley.
Blumenau and Nova Trento: faith and history in the European Valley
Religion is a strong trait in the European Valley. Cathedrals and churches of different faiths mark the history of the region. From Blumenau it is possible to discover some of the most important religious spaces in the region.
Blumenau, which was heavily influenced by the Protestant movement in its colonization, houses the first Lutheran church in the European Valley. Built in 1868 near the historic center of the city, the Igreja Luterana do Espírito Santo was listed by IPHAN as a National Historic and Artistic Heritage. Its architecture has the neo-gothic style. In the back, there is a cemetery where some of the first settlers of Blumenau are buried.
The São Paulo Apostle Cathedral is surprising for its size and grandeur. Originally built in 1868, the church had to be renovated as the immigrant colony in Blumenau expanded. The new architectural project, inaugurated in 1963, departed from the traditional concept of churches. In addition to being built with red granite stones and colored stained glass, the cathedral gained a tower with three bells that symbolize Jesus, Mary and Joseph, 45 meters high. The Cathedral is one of the city's postcards.
To learn more about the religious tourism in the European Valley, the alternative is to plan a visit to Nova Trento. Marked by the influence of the Italian colony, the city is the second most important religious destination in Brazil and brings together many faithful in the Santa Paulina Sanctuary. 80 km from Blumenau, it is worth spending an afternoon in the city to visit the Santa Paulina Sanctuary Complex, which honors the first Santa in Brazil. The city has more than 30 churches and chapels and hosts several Catholic celebrations throughout the year.
To learn more about Blumenau, access www.turismoblumenau.com.br and the website www.gvaticias.com
Municipality of the State of Santa Catarina, located in the region of the European Valley, Blumenau was colonized in 1850 by the German pharmacist and philosopher Dr. Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau, who arrived in the city accompanied by 17 other settlers, also from Germany. Later, immigrants arrived from Italy and Poland. Blumenau has a series of attractions such as museums, monuments, squares and half-timbered houses, in addition to organizing events and parties responsible for increasing the local economy and moving thousands of tourists. The city hosts the Oktoberfest Blumenau, the second largest in the world and the biggest German party in the Americas, and is officially the Brazilian Capital of Beer. Blumenau is among the ten largest and best cities in Brazil and holds the Safe seals Travels, from WTTC, and Viaje+SC, from Santur, which qualifies it as a safe destination for the tourism.