Anais do Museu Paulista: História e Cultura Material
Print version ISSN 0101-4714
D'ELBOUX, Roseli Maria Martins. Uma promenade nos trópicos: os barões do café sob as palmeiras-imperiais, entre o Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo. An. mus. paul. [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.2, pp. 193-250. ISSN 0101-4714. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-47142006000200007.
This paper proposes to discuss the transformation of urban landscapes in the Paraíba River Valley as members of the coffee elite emerged in this area and a specific landscape configuration was projected there based on the use of imperial palms (Roystonea oleracea). Chronologically speaking, the paper covers a period from 1808 to 1911; with regard to space, it focuses on the stretch between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with a closer look at the case of the city of Lorena (SP), so as to encompass all the changes that took place in this region from the introduction to the decline of coffee growing as an economic activity. The urban changes during this period were accompanied by the advent and consolidation of landscapes typical of the society of coffee growers: streets lined with palm trees, a token of their close connections with the royal court, a display of their adherence to "Frenchified customs". Such configurations were used to characterize public areas and raise them to the same status as the new buildings that gradually replaced those built in colonial style. The paper is structured around three key moments, namely: the introduction of imperial palms in Rio de Janeiro and their association with the idea of nobility and rank, and consequently with neoclassical architecture, which was brought to the colony by the 1816 French Mission; the dissemination of the use of imperial palms as a landscaping resource typical of public spaces from the royal court to the capital of São Paulo, particularly by the coffee barons during the second period of monarchic rule; and, finally, the hypothesis that the use of imperial palms to embellish public areas in São Paulo may have been introduced by a Lorena citizen associated with the coffee elite, albeit later, when Brazil was already a republic.
Keywords : 19th century; Paraíba River Valley; Lorena; Imperial palm; Landscape heritage; Urban landscape.