Known to be the Brazilian Federation’s smallest state, Sergipe, to which Aracaju is the capital, is situated in the country’s northeastern Atlantic coast. It borders two other states namely, Alagoas on its north and Bahia on the south. As with most northeastern states of the country, Sergipe’s inland is almost entirely savanna, while its coastline is mostly swamps, mangroves, and sandy beaches.
Here are some of the other important cities in the state:
Before Aracaju became the capital of the state in 1855, it was São Cristóvão which actually held the title. Fourth among Brazil’s oldest towns, the city is located about 25 kilometers from the current capital. Like other cities, São Cristóvão is a planned urban settlement. It contains religious structures, like churches, that date back during the colonial period.
Because of its rich history, the city of São Cristóvão was declared by the Instituto do Patrimônio histórico e Artístico Nacional – IPHAN (known in English as The Brazilian National Historical and Artistical Heritage Institute) as a National Treasure in 1939.
The town’s São Francisco Square, which is a quadrilateral open space, is home to many of São Cristóvão’s early buildings such as the São Francisco Church, the Provincial Palace, and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia. These, together with the surrounding houses that date back in the 18 and 19 centuries, make an urban landscape reflecting the origin of the town. In 2010, the area was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
A shipping port, the main industries of São Cristóvão is distilling and sugar milling.
Another important city of Sergipe, Estância has a total area of 642 square kilometers. It is inhabited by over 60,000 people and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Estância.
The city of Propriá is occupied by almost 30,000 people. It has a total land area of 95 square kilometers. Although not as big and populated as other Sergipe cities, Propriá is known for being home of two football clubs – Propriá and América. The first owns the 5,000-seater Constantino Tavares Stadium, while the latter has the 3,000-seater José Neto Stadium. Both clubs play at the João Alves Filho Stadium which is owned by the state government.
Despite the size of Sergipe, its natural attractions and rich history allow it to stand out and shine on its own.