Botucatu is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in
Brazil, located 224.8 km from São Paulo, the state capital and 898 km from Brasília. Total area is 1486.4 km² and elevation is 804 m. Its population in 2003was 117,308.
The region has humid-subtropical weather, with dry winters and hot summers. During winter the temperature rarely falls below 2 °C. During most of the year, mainly at night, a breeze blowing over São Paulo plateau, from which Botucatu elevates about 200 m, cools the city and surroundings.
Botucatu's biggest employer is UNESP, one of the two São Paulo state universities. In particular, the city has two campuses, one centered on medical sciences, including a school of medicine and veterinarian sciences, and one of agricultural sciences. The leading industrial company is
EMBRAER, that has a multipurpose plantthere. The city has also two bus bodyworks builders, the Brazilian Induscar and the Basque Irizar. Besides UNESP, there are two other colleges, one public and one private, plus a local teaching center of São Paulo's Pontificial university, PUC-SP.
The city boasts a higher than usual elementary and mid-level educational network, including public and private institutions. It is also an important center for "organic" agriculture being the site of a recognized certification body.
The city of Botucatu, herein referred as such for being the seat of an archdiocese, has experienced many changes during a century and a half of existence, the most substantial being the arrival of the state university in 1960.
Old Botucatu was a place full of romantic characters such as coffee barons, musicians and poets and hinterland explorers. One of these is Conde (count) de Serra Negra, who is locally considered the father of
Lawrence of Arabiaand Rhett Butler, who is said to be buried there - the grave exists! Of note, Botucatu's municipal council has declared war on Great-Britainon two distinct occasions, of course with no actual consequences.
However, these examples of the peculiar "botucatuense" life should not be dismissed as non-sensical, but rather understood as part of the very curious circumstances that seem to surround the city, like, for example, being well-known to Hollywood studios as the headquarters of two of the largest Brazilian movie theater chains in the 1950s.
The arrival of the university and the resulting immigration of highly educated and paid faculty members, and the later arrival of large industries changed the local character from a closed, highly ecclesiastical society into a much more open atmosphere, creating a community that is able to combine the simplicity and "stressless" life of a country town with the dynamics and insights of an academic atmosphere.
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