Sorocaba is a city in southeastern Brazil, in the southwestern portion of São Paulo State (96 km west of Sao Paulo City). As of 2007, its population was approximately 590,846. The title of Manchester Paulista was given to the city in the end of 19th century, due to the rapid increase of English textile industries in the city, along with the opening of one of the most important railways of São Paulo, the Estrada de Ferro Sorocabana. later named FEPASA, when the state took control of it. The metallurgy and steelmaking technologies inherited from the city's earlier days give Sorocaba a leading role in mechanical engineering. Sorocaba's Industrial park is one of the most important centers of engineering, manufacturing and assembling in South America.


Dom Francisco de Sousa, general governor of Brazil (1591 to 1602), believing in the existence of gold in the region, settled the Pelourinho-- a Portuguese translation of the English "pillory" - symbol of the Royal power - as the village Nova Vila de Nossa Senhora da Ponte de Mont Serrat. As gold wasn't found there, governor returned to the Royal Court. Twelve years later, Dom Francisco de Sousa changed the name of the village to Itavuvu.

Baltazar Fernandes, a member of an expeditionary group called Bandeirantes, laid the foundation of Sorocaba in the year of 1654. The chapel of Nossa Senhora da Ponte (which is now the Cathedral located in Fernando Prestes square, downtown) was built by him, along with the São Bento de Parnaíba monastery (now São Bento monastery) years later. It was also Fernandes who brought the first Benedictine monks to teach, assist the poor and the ill, and convert the Native Americans of the region. The monastery was donated to the Benedictines in the year 1660, after which Friar Anselmo da Anunciação and Friar Mauro were chosen to assume office. The first streets and houses started to spread around the neighborhood.

In the year of 1661, Baltazar Fernandes went to São Paulo to request that Sorocaba be named a village from the governor, Correia de Sá e Benevides. Yhus, on March 3rd, 1661, Sorocaba became known as Vila de Nossa Senhora da Ponte de Sorocaba. The organization of the Municipal Council followed shortly, with the main nominees being: Baltazar Fernandes and André de Zunega (judges), Cláudio Furquim and Pascoal Leite Pais (city councillors), Domingos Garcia (procurator) with Francisco Sanches (clerk).

With the arrival of colonel Cristóvão Pereira de Abreu and his troops in 1773, begins the main chapter of the history of Sorocaba: the Tropeirismo.

The transportation of goods on the back of mules, that traversed the North-South route of the country came across Sorocaba, which was strategically placed in the main route between Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. Soon Sorocaba had its own Feira de Muares (mule/horse fair), where troops from all states came to feed and rest their cavalry on the way to the mineral and forest expeditions, and buy and sell goods, horses and enslaved Africans. Given the growing number of people working in the city, the commerce and the first industries began to appear. Goods bought in Sorocaba were known from across the Country, spread by the merchant troops. The main events of Tropeirismo comprehended a hundred years of the Sorocaba history, from 1770 to 1870.

During the American Civil War, English textile industries ran out of cotton, which was imported from the Southern United States. Soon, producers from England started to search around the world for alternative places to cultivate cotton - one of them was the then-Province of São Paulo, which included Sorocaba. In 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel Francisco Gonçalves de Oliveira Machado built the first cotton plantation in Sorocaba. The local environment and weather were ideal, and the plantation flourished. The first harvest exceeded all expectations, starting another circle of industrial and economic development. Several textile industries from England were built in the city, changing the landscape with chimneys, saw-styled roofs, large, orange brick-built buildings and smoke. During this time, Sorocaba received the title of Manchester Paulista--"Sao Paulo native" in Portuguese, given the resemblance with its laboring twin city.

With the opening of the Sorocabana railway on June 20, 1872 and its transport of cotton products, animals and passengers to São Paulo, Sorocaba had a major leap in development. Six locomotives and 62 bandwagons were brought from England, with seven stations initially planned.

Telegraphic services started in April 3rd, 1873. Years later, the railway expanded to the borders of the State, with Sorocaba station as the hub.


Sorocaba's industrial park is well-served by roads, highways, and public transportation. The industrial park boasts more than 25 million square meters and over 1600 industries. Main economic activities are: Industry Machinery, heavy Metallurgy, Ironmaking and Steelmaking, Automobile Parts, Industry Textiles, Agricultural Equipment, Chemical and Petrochemical, Cement production, Eolic Energy, Pharmaceutics, Paper and Cellulose, Electronics, Telecommunications, Tools, Commerce and Services. Its tools, Automobile Parts and Pharmaceutics industry are the biggest in Brazil.

Some of the industries which are a part of this diverse offering are: [ Dynapac] , [ Enertec] , [ INA-Schaeffler] , [ Cooper Tools] , [ Case IH] , [ Lufkin Industries] , [ ZF Friedrichshafen] , [ DANA Corporation] , [ Villares Metals] , [ YKK Group] , [ Wobben Windpower] , [ Pirelli] , [ GM] , [ Metalac] , [ Luk] , [ Allied Signal/Honeywell] , [ Yashika] , [ Kyocera] , [ Metso Paper] , [ Hartmann-Mapol] , [ Aster Pharmaceutics] , [ GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies] , [ Sealy] , [ Campari] , [ CSM] , [ Flextronics] , [ Hewlett-Packard] , [ Andrew Telecommunications] , and [ Coca-Cola]

The Ferroban railroad (formerly Sorocabana Railway and FEPASA) are connected to São Paulo and the Santos Seaport, the largest seaport in South America. The railroad is also an important link to Mercosur, reaching both Argentina and Bolivia.

Sorocaba also boasts a dry port terminal, which provides efficient road linkages to the various ports and airports of the region including Sorocaba Airport , which has one of the busiest cargo terminals in the State. A second airport, with much higher traffic and passenger capacity is currently being planned for the upcoming years.


Sorocaba's economic development is 5th in the State, with investments in the order of US$ 3,5 billion, with US$ 3 billion in Gross Internal Product. Its industries export to over 115 countries, with an income of US$370 million per year. There are over 8 thousand commerce organizations and another 8 thousand service businesses.


Sorocaba has 5 major universities, 3 of which are privately owned: The Catholic University -- Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC), Universidade de Sorocaba (UNISO) and Universidade Paulista (UNIP), and public universities such as Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) and Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR).

It has also five colleges: Faculdade de Direito de Sorocaba (FADI), Faculdade de Engenharia de Sorocaba {FACENS), Faculdade de Tecnologia de Sorocaba (FATEC), Instituto "Manchester Paulista" de Ensino (IMAPES) and Centro de Educação Sorocabano Uirapuru, among other smaller schools. It has also over 400 public, municipal and private elementary and high schools.


The health system is served by a comprehensive infrastructure of hospitals, mainly by the Conjunto Hospitalar de Sorocaba (CHS), a complex which includes the Hospital Regional, Hospital Leonor Mendes de Barros, the Santa Casa Hospital, Santa Lucinda Hospital, the Evangelical Hospital, Samaritano Hospital, Modelo Hospital, the Unimed Hospital complex, Hospital Oftamológico, and four psychiatric hospitals: Jardim das Acácias, Vera Cruz, Mental and Teixeira Lima.

There are also 27 health stations and 3 ER Hospitals, Ambulatório de Saúde Mental and the STD and AIDS Clinic. The number of specializations and hospitals in the city, along with the PUC Faculdade de Medicina, Faculdade de Tecnologia de Sorocaba (FATEC) and other private medicine schools, gave Sorocaba the health excellence reference in Brazil. The Anti-HIV Program led by the local Heath Secretary is referenced worldwide.

Administrative Region

Places in the region of Sorocaba include:

*Araçoiaba da Serra
*Capela do Alto
*Porto Feliz
*Salto de Pirapora
*São Roque


Visitors can count on several options for leisure, culture and business while in the city. There are many options for accommodations varying from inexpensive to high-class hotels and lodgings, including International hotel chains like Transamerica Flat, Ibis Hotel, Alpha Inn and others. For the foreigner, there are currency exchange houses and a Convention & Visitors Bureau. Two International Convention Centers are available. Sorocaba's three main newspapers are the Jornal Bom Dia, Cruzeiro do Sul and the Diário de Sorocaba.

Sorocaba is served by an extensive infrastructure of public transportation composed of bus fleets and terminals, comprising a system that reaches practically every point of the city.

There are many parks open to the public, such as historical churches, walking and racing courses, historical monuments, museums, mausoleums and memorials, various spas and horse farms. The municipal Zoo "Quinzinho de Barros", is one of the largest zoos in South America.

The nightlife in the city offers many options, ranging from theaters to bars and gourmet international cuisine restaurants.


Sorocaba is located exactly on the limit between the sediments of Parana' Basin (Itararé Group, in glacial and deltaic environments of Permian-Carboniferous age) and crystalline basement (Neoproterozoic). Important granitic batoliths are Sorocaba Massif (I-Type) and Sao Francisco (A-Type). Metamorphic low grade rocks as phyllites, metacalcareous, metarenites, are marine metassediments included in Sao Roque Group. Araçoiaba Ridge or Ipanema Hill comprises ultrabasic-alkaline intrusion (Early Cretaceous). The ore was exploited from magnetite probably associated to carbonatite body.


The current Mayor is Vitor Lippi, from the Brazilian Social Democratic Party--(PSDB). His term began on Jan. 1, 2005 and should end on Dec. 31, 2008.


*Prefeitura Municipal de Sorocaba [ "Conhecendo a sua Cidade"] , "Conheça Sorocaba", November 13 2007. Accessed November 13 2007.

*Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística [ "Cidades@"] , "Sorocaba", November 13 2007. Accessed November 13 2007.

External links

* [ Prefeitura Municipal de Sorocaba]
* [ FADI - Faculdade de Direito de Sorocaba]
* [ Fatec Sorocaba]
* [ PUCSP - Campus Sorocaba]
* [ UNESP - Campus de Sorocaba]
* [ UFSCar - Campus Sorocaba]
* [ UNISO - Universidade de Sorocaba]
* [ Colégio Politécnico de Sorocaba]
* []
* [ VIVAcidade Sorocaba]
* [ TEMMAIS Sorocaba]
* [ Sorocaba on Panoramio]
* [ Zoológico Municipal Quinzinho de Barros]
* [ Câmara Municipal de Sorocaba]

English text/usage edited by Sean Cyrillo, aka Cirilo Paulino Sao Paulo State native and English/Reading teacher in New York on 09/07/08.

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