Sao Jose Dos Campos | Brazil

São José dos Campos (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɐ̃w̃ ʒuˈzɛ dus ˈkɐ̃pus], meaning Saint Joseph of the Fields) is a major city and the seat of the municipality of the same name in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. One of the leading industrial and research centers with emphasis in aerospace sciences in Latin America, the city is located in the Paraíba Valley, between the two most active production and consumption regions in the country, São Paulo (80 km (50 mi) from the city) and Rio de Janeiro (320 km (200 mi)). It is the main city of the Metropolitan Region of Vale do Paraíba e Litoral Norte. A native of São José dos Campos is called a joseense (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒozɛˈẽsi]).

Highlands predominate in the northern region of the municipality with altitudes ranging from 660 to 975 m (2,165 to 3,199 ft). The northern border of the municipality lies over the Serra da Mantiqueira Mountains (Mantiqueira Range), with some peaks reaching over 2000 meters (6500 ft.). The highest point in the municipality is known as 'Pico do Selado' at an altitude of 2082 meters.

In the urban area, there are rolling plateaus and hills. The lowest elevation in the city (and also in the municipality) is found in the Paraíba do Sul river, at an elevation of 550 m.

The municipality is bounded at the south by the 'Serra do Jambeiro' mountains, with an elevation of about 900m.

Municipality: Elevations 550 to 2,082 m (1,804 to 6,831 ft)
City: Elevations 550 to 690 m (1,800 to 2,260 ft).

The municipality holds the 11,559 hectares (28,560 acres) São Francisco Xavier Environmental Protection Area, established in 2002. It contains part of the 292,000 hectares (720,000 acres) Mananciais do Rio Paraíba do Sul Environmental Protection Area, created in 1982 to protect the sources of the Paraiba do Sul river.

At the beginning of the gold mining economic cycle in Brazil, the settlement goes through serious difficulties due to the exit of labor to the mines.

After the definitive expulsion of Jesuits from the Portuguese Empire in 1759, all the religious order's assets, such as farms, colleges and villages were taken under the Portuguese Crown's custody. The governor, D. Luis Antonio Botelho Mourão, had as a priority to turn these new assets into productive units and increase tax collection. For that, Boutelho Mourão successfully requested authorization from the Viceroy to create civil parishes, known as freguesias, and to change the fiscal status of villages to the category of Vila (town).

Then, on July 27, 1767, São José reached the official status of town, with a hall and a pillory, passing over the status of civil parish; and the name Vila de São José do Paraíba was formalized. But for many years it maintained the same rural characteristics. The main difficulty was the fact that the Estrada Real (Royal Road) passed by its limits, far from the village.

Although São José is an industrial center, the city still preserves green areas and quiet town districts. Around 62% of the area from the municipality is characterized as an environmental preservation area. On the oustskirts of the urban area, Augusto Ruschi Ecology Reserve has many local plant species. The natural reserve has 2,500,000 m2 (27,000,000 sq ft), being a government protect area for the local flora. São Francisco Xavier is a community the offers many of those attributes as well.

Furthermore, there is easy access to the mountain cities (Campos do Jordão, Santo Antônio do Pinhal) and to the beaches of the Northern Coast of São Paulo.

The city has three parks and several sports and country clubs. Tenis Clube and Associação Esportiva São José have hosted the 35th Banana Bowl International Tennis Federation Juniors Circuit in 2005 and 2006.

A soccer stadium, called Estádio Martins Pereira, is the home ground of São José Esporte Clube, a professional soccer team.

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