World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Curitiba

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World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Curitiba
Curitiba is the most populous city in southern Brazil (Getty Thinkstock)

Curitiba is the most populated city in the Brazilian south. Originally named "Campos de Curityba," it was founded on March 29, 1693. At around 940 metres above sea level, it is the capital city to the state of Paraná. In addition to that, it was briefly the capital of Brazil between March 24 and 27, 1969. It is an urban centre with many culturally interesting sites.

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Oscar Niemeyer Museum

This is one of Curitiba's most important art spaces. It was originally projected as a centre for learning and education by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1967. In 2003, Niemeyer himself designed some alterations to its original structure and incorporated one of its now most recognisable features: the eye-shaped annex. Located at Rua Marechal Hermes 999, its total surface of 35,000 square metres (376,736 square feet) houses visual arts, design and architecture exhibitions.

Botanical Garden of Curitiba

This is the biggest green space in the city. It was created in 1991 and has a 245,000 square metre (60 Acre) surface. A great extension of Atlantic bush can be seen there, where the region's native vegetation is preserved without intervention, along with araucaria trees and a great collection of local animal species. The art nouveau style greenhouse, built entirely in steel and glass, is one of the garden's main features. The garden also houses part of the Federal University of Paraná's campus.

Wire Opera House

The Ópera the Arame, as it is called in Portuguese, is a circular theatre that takes its name from its peculiar architectural style. Located at Rua João Gava 970, it stands on an artificial lake, the site of a former rock quarry, and resembles a wire cage. It was built in 1992 in the course of barely 75 days, out of steel tubes and transparent polycarbonate panes. It holds 1,000 seats and can be accessed through the bridge that joins it to the shore. It regularly hosts plays, concerts and other artistic events.

Teatro Guaíra Cultural Centre

This is one of the most visited cultural centres in the city. Main construction work at Rua Quinze de Novembro 971, on Carlos Andrade Square began in 1952. In addition to the 2,173 seat Guairão Auditorium, the Centre houses three smaller theatres, a ballet company and a dance school. The building's main façade features a mural by famous Curitiban artist Poty Lazzarotto.

Footbal stadiums

Football is an intense experience in Curitiba all year around. The two most important teams are Clube Altético Paranaense and the Coritiba Foot Ball Club. Their respective stadiums are among the city's greatest tourist attractions. Arena da Baixada, located on Rua Buenos Aires 1260, is Atlético Paranaense's home stadium. The stands were recently expanded and renovated to better accommodate the large crowds expected in the coming World Cup's matches. As for Coritiba FC, they call Estádio Major Antônio Couto Pereira their home, located at Rua Ubaldino do Amaral 37.

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