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The city is located on the right bank of the great São Francisco River, the longest river to flow entirely inside Brazilian territory. Its history goes back to the colonial period of the bandeirantes and the gold panhandlers who folloed the river upstream and arrived at the rapids of Pirapora and founded the settlement of São Gonçalo das Tabocas. In 1911 the small Arraial de São Gonçalo de Pirapora became the seat of a municipality and its name was shortened to Pirapora. Its street plan was laid out in the form of a chess set, inspired by the new capital of Belo Horizonte, and the streets were given names of Brazilian states.

There are highway connections with the main federal highway, the BR 040, to the west. In 1910 the railroad came up from the south and reached Pirapora, with a bridge (694 m) being built across the river. There were plans to extend the line to the coast. At the end of the nineteen seventies the line was deactivated, but the bridge and the rails still remain.

Today the river has lost its economic importance and is mainly used by tourist boats that attempt to recreate the spirit of the past, when Mississippi style riverboats were used to go as far as Juazeiro in Bahia. These boats used charcoal, which contributed to the disappearance of the vegetation along the river. One of the old paddle wheel steamboats, the Benjamim Guimarães, can still be seen anchored in front of the city and is a major tourist site.

Source: Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Lucas Vieira (lucasgalodoido) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5921 W: 190 N: 7632] (26908)
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