North gate in Pomerode
|Nickname(s): A cidade mais alemã do Brasil
(The most German city in Brazil)
Location of Pomerode
|Founded||January 21, 1959|
|• Mayor||Dr. Paulo Maurício Pizzolatti|
|• Total||215.904 km2 (83.361 sq mi)|
|• Density||114/km2 (300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (UTC-2)|
Pomerode is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Santa Catarina, in Southern Brazil. It is located in the valley of the Itajaí-Açu river, not very far from the city of Blumenau, one of the largest cities in the state.
History and the local language
Pomerode was founded by Pomeranian Germans in 1861 and is considered the "most typically German of all German towns of southern Brazil".
One very remarkable characteristic about Pomerode is the fact that Pommersch is still being preserved by the majority of the local population.
For a good part of the 20th century, the Brazilian government did not encourage people to speak German. As a matter of fact, at times it was actively repressed and prohibited, like during Getúlio Vargas's presidency. Today, after a long period of suppression, German is part of the curriculum in local schools and tolerated if not always encouraged by regional governments throughout southern Brazil.
Pomeranian German (i.e. Pommersch, not to be confused with Slavic Kashubian which is in English also called Pomeranian) is spoken by most town inhabitants of Pomerode, alongside with Portuguese, mainly by younger people. German-extraction Brazilians who are still bilingual speak the dialect of the regions they came from. In Santa Catarina this is Northern Germany, from Bremen to Danzig. In Rio Grande do Sul it is from the Hunsrück area south-west of Frankfurt and substantially different, at least to Germans.
The town government uses "Pomeroy" as the English translation of the town's name on its website, despite being etymologically incorrect.
Lutherans are 63.76% of the population, as German Pomerania was traditionally overwhelmingly Lutheran. Over time, some of the Pomeranians converted to Catholicism, and Catholics from the rest of Brazil moved into the town.
Tourism and economy
Pomerode has a long history developing its manufacturing industry like other cities in the region. It is also located in a very rich agricultural valley. Additionally, in the last few decades the creation and development of the tourist industry has become a priority. To accomplish that, great efforts are being made to reinforce and celebrate the pioneering roots of the local inhabitants.
The tourist industry of nearby Blumenau (about 30 km (19 mi) away) is very well developed attracting hundred of thousands of visitors annually to its festivals such as Oktoberfest of Blumenau, the largest one in the world after the original festival in Munich. Naturally, this has generated a very positive impact on the tourist industry of much smaller Pomerode.
In addition to tourism the economy is dependent on industry, which includes knitted clothing, plastic articles, state of the art metal and mechanical industries, garments and cloth, and furniture.
- Pomerode's official website. Accessed on April 16, 2006.(Portuguese)
- Pomerode Online. In English, German and Portuguese, accessed on April 16, 2006.
- Travel Guide: Pomerode. In English, accessed on April 16, 2006.
- Pomerode in Pictures. Visual content, accessed on April 16, 2006.