Re-live the memories of wars and revolutions in São Paulo

With the aim of showing that São Paulo was the city where protest and revolutions have changed the social and political scenario in the country, we prepared this special on wars and revolutions in São Paulo. Here you’ll find a complete guide about museums and places to visit and get to know about these movements of which a lot of people are not aware. Check out each one of them – let’s take a tour through the city!

Museums dedicated to the memory of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932

This Revolution – also called Paulista War – was an armed movement that intended to take the power of the Getúlio Vargas’ Provisional Government, the president at that time. The conflict occurred between July and October of that year and the official numbers say that 934 people died, although unofficial estimates report up to 2200 dead. During one of the great insurrections, a crowd broke into the building at the intersection of Ipiranga avenue and Barão de Itapetininga street, where were the Revolutionary Legion headquarters. At the time Martins, Miragaia, Dráusio and Camargo died and the initials of their names became a symbol of the revolutionary movement: M.M.D.C.

Get to know some of the museums dedicated to the history of this revolution.

Memorial 32 – Centro de Estudos José Celestino Bourroul (José Celestino Bourroul Study Center) 

It is a memorial in honor of the engineer José Celestino Bourroul who has served the city of São Paulo during 45 years and was a researcher that studied the Revolution of 32. In the institution, one has access to a collection of objects and weapons used in the revolution. There is also a library with works not yet published, sketches, diaries of soldiers, materials used in the campaign at that time, newspaper clippings, contribution lists and other interesting things.

Jorge Mancini Gallery 

Associação dos Funcionários Públicos do Estado de São Paulo (Association of Civil Servants of São Paulo) also holds for public visitation a collection about the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932. The goal is to honor those involved and remember the landmark that it was for the city and the State.

In a room the visitor finds documents and various materials that tell the story of the Paulista War.

Obelisco Mausoléu (Ibirapuera) [Learn more about it]

Aerial view of the Obelisk. Photo: Caio Pimenta/ SPTuris.

The funerary monument, at Ibirapuera Park, started to be built in 1947 and was inaugurated in 1955, but was only completed in 1970. A symbol of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932, the Obelisk was a project developed by the Italian-Brazilian sculptor Galileo Ugo Emendabili, and the work was conducted by the German engineer – who has lived in Brazil – Ulrich Edler. It is 72 meters high and rests in the garden that is in front of 23 de maio Avenue, date on which the first four revolutionaries aforementioned died.

Listed by State and Municipal Heritage Councils, in the mausoleum rest the mortal remains of M.M.D.C and other 713 ex-combatants. To preserve the memory of this uprising, biblical scenes and passages from the history of São Paulo were made with Venetian mosaic tablets. The inscription on the mausoleum reads: “They lived little to die well; died young to live forever”.

Memorial da Resistência de São Paulo (São Paulo Memorial of Resistance) [Learn more about it

Memorial of Resistance. Photo: publicity.

The São Paulo Memorial of Resistance – the former State Department of Political and Social Order of São Paulo (Deops/SP) – was created to preserve the memory of those who fought against dictatorship in Brazil and the documents related to the period. The research was developed by the Fórum Permanente dos Ex-Presos e Perseguidos Políticos do Estado de São Paulo (Permanent Forum of Former Political Prisoners and Persecuted of São Paulo), with the support of participants, cultural institutions, and the Public Archives of the State of São Paulo.

The Memorial has an educational and cultural purpose, and aims at questioning and updating information on the political repression in Brazil.

Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo (Immigration Museum of the State of São Paulo)[Learn more about it

The Museum Historical Collection. Photo: publicity.

Located in the traditional Mooca district, in the East zone of the city, the Immigration Museum of the State of São Paulo is the main responsible for the preservation of the memory of the people who came to Brazil in the mid-19th and beginning of the 20th century. These people helped to build and transform the city and country.

Acting as a meeting point of different immigrant communities, the Museum’s origins date back to 1887, when the official Immigrants Lodge was established, a place that welcomed and forwarded workers brought by the Government. During its 91 years of activity, the lodge, closed in 1978, received about 2.5 million people from over 70 nationalities. The story of these workers are still alive, preserved in the testimonials, photos, documents and papers that are part of the Immigration Museum’s large collection, once known as Immigrant Memorial.

One of the main tourist attractions of the city – not only for its historical value, but also for its century-old architecture –, the Museum has several attractions in addition to its exhibitions, such as making a short trip in a steam locomotive.

Museu da Polícia Civil do Estado de São Paulo (Civil Police Museum of the State of São Paulo) [Learn more about it]

Civil Police Museum. Photo: publicity.

Established in 1841, the Brazilian Civil Police is controlled by the Secretariat of Public Security of the State of São Paulo and aims at preserving public order, people and public heritage.

The Civil Police Museum, created in the 1920 at Cidade Universitária (USP – University of São Paulo) preserves and holds about 3000 articles, documents and objects that are part of institution history (about 170 years).

Among these objects there is a polygraph, popularly known as lie detector; a well-preserved Volkswagen beetle that circulated in the city in the late 1950s – it was “retired” in 2008; moreover, there are artifacts used in crimes, a collection of guns, accident records and wax statues depicting famous criminals, like Bandido da Luz Vermelha and Chico Picadinho.

In the West Zone of the city, the location location is nearby Butantã metro station. There are also several bus lines to get there.

Museu da Policia Militar do Estado de São Paulo 

The Brazilian State Police Museum was created on August 11th, 1958, and for many years remained linked to the Education Secretariat. In 1976, it was transferred to the Public Safety Secretariat, and since then it is controlled by the Brazilian State Police. The space aims to portray the historical action “Public Force”, “Armed Forces” and the evolution of the State Police in the city.

Currently the museum is being renovated in the former building of the Hospital Militar da Força Pública, a building designed by Ramos de Azevedo, the famous Brazilian architect. In the collection the visitor finds a lot of objects that belonged to the São Paulo police forces such as the “State Public Force”, “Municipal Guard of São Paulo”, “Marine and Air Police”, “Feminine Police Force”, “Special Police Force”, “Night Watch Police”, among other national and international forces.

There is also a collection of uniforms, accessories, badges, caps, helmets, as well as objects from the Revolution of 1932, armory, communication and war operation equipment, police cars, photos, maps and other historical documents.

Espaço Cultural Poeta Paulo Bomfim

Located in the Palace of Justice and inaugurated in 2009 to celebrate the 77 years of the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932, Espaço Cultural Poeta Paulo Bomfim, homage to the artist who wrote important verses about the Paulista uprising, houses a collection of medals, books, awards, uniforms and documents, as well as the reproduction of a Anita Malfatti’s painting.

Monuments Exposed on Praça Heróis of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB)

Finally, those interested in topic can visit, for free and outdoors, relics of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force exposed in the front of Prefeitura de Aeronáutica de São Paulo, at Santos Dumont Avenue, nearby Praça dos Heróis, in the North Zone. The Mirage III, the first supersonic aircraft in the country, propellers and anti-aircraft ammunition are among the items.

Memorial 32 – Centro de Estudos José Celestino Bourroul (José Celestino Bourroul Study Center)
Opening hours: from Monday to Thursday, from 12 am to 5 pm.
Address: Rua Benjamin Constant, 158 – Sé – Downtown.

Jorge Mancini Gallery
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Address: Rua Venceslau Brás, 206 – Sé – Downtown – São Paulo.
Phone: (11) 3293-9581/ 3293-9588

Obelisco Mausoléu (Ibirapuera)
Address: Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral – Vila Mariana.

Memorial da Resistência de São Paulo
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5:30 pm.
Address: Largo General Osório, 66 – Luz – Downtown.
Phone: (11) 3324-0943/ 0944.

Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm.
Address: Rua Visconde de Parnaíba, 1316 – Mooca.
Phone: (11) 3311-7700/ (11) 2692-1866/ (11) 2692-9218.

Museu da Polícia Civil do Estado de São Paulo
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Friday, from 1 pm to 5 pm.
Location: Academia de Polícia “Dr. Coriolano Nogueira Cobra”.
Address: Praça Prof. Reinaldo Porchat, 219 – Cidade Universitária – Butantã.
Phone: (11) 3468-3360

Museu da Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo

Opening hours: the museum is closed for visitation, but you can visit the library and have access to historical archives, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Address: Praça Prof. Reinaldo Porchat, 219 – Cidade Universitária – Butantã.
Phone: (11) 3311-9955/ 3227-3793

Espaço Cultural Poeta Paulo Bomfim

Location: Tribunal de Justiça de são Paulo.
Address: Praça da Sé – Downtown.
Phone: (11) 3242-9366

Monuments Exposed at Praça Heróis of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB)
Address: Praça Heróis da FEB, s/n – Santana – zona Norte – São Paulo.

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