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Photographer's Note

In 1870, with the opening of a new link - by rail - between Rio and Sao Paulo, crossing the Valley of Paraiba, the old horseback trail through the Serra do Mar (the mountain range along the coast), lost its function, thus affecting dramatically the economic activity of Paraty.

A second factor for the decadence of the trade and the city of Paraty was the abolition of slavery in 1888, resulting in such an exodus that out of the 16,000 inhabitants in 1851, by the end of the XIX century there we only 600 old people, women and children left, keeping Paraty isolated from the rest of the country for decades.

While roads were being built in the rest of the country, the access to Paraty was done in the same old way as during the Portuguese occupation : by boat, coming from Angra dos Reis; or, from 1950 on , through a dirt road, coming down the mountain from Cunha, a road which could be used only during dry weather, which was partly the old route for transporting gold and coffee.

Not even the attempt to build a railroad between Paraty and Guaratinguetα, during the first half of the XX century, was successful.

This involuntary isolation was, however, what preserved not only the urban architectonic structure of the city, as well as its customs and lifestyle.

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Additional Photos by Carmem A Busko (carmem_busko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 565 W: 145 N: 584] (3718)
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