Praça Coronel Fernando Prestes (EN)

This square is home to historic buildings, such as the Historical Archives of São Paulo and the Military Police Barracks – with its Japanese garden and a koi pond – and is the gateway to one of the most multicultural neighborhoods in town: Bom Retiro. Now recognized as a piece of South Korea in São Paulo, the neighborhood features a unique blend between different groups of immigrants who helped build its history. Initially occupied by various ethnicities, such as Greeks and Italians, it became the main stronghold of the Jews in town until the mid 20th century. From the 1960s onwards, the massive Korean immigration has transformed the neighborhood – which has become a center for apparel and clothing – which, today, also attracts a growing Bolivian community.

Curiosities:

– The first name attributed to the street address, after the start of the region’s development, was “Praça do Visconde Congonhas do Campo” [Viscount of Congonhas do Campo Square], around 1883, in tribute to the late First President of the Province of São Paulo.

– Colonel Fernando Prestes was a republican who defended the release of slaves and occupied the positions of state and federal deputy, state senator, vice-president and president of the State of São Paulo. His son, Júlio Prestes de Albuquerque, was also elected State governor and later president of the Republic, not assuming the position due to the outbreak of the 1930 revolution.

– The last reform of the square included recovery of the paving of roads and sidewalks, interventions in the jardinières and replacement of public light poles. Parking in the area was also brought to an end.

– There is an unusual garden in Japanese style with fishpond in front of the building of the São Paulo Military Police Headquarters.

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Location: Tiradentes metro station.