Paraty stems from a Portuguese settlement near a village of Goianá Indians, by the end of the seventeenth century.There is no knowledge of any document indicating the date of its foundation.The first reference to Paraty is 1596, with the expedition of Martim Correa de Sa, who used the trail of the Indians to climb the Serra do Mar.The site then became the entry point and obligatory stop for those seeking the inside.The first settlement was in the Morro do Forte, moving to its current location with Maria Jácome de Mello donation of part of his land grant, with the requirement that it build a chapel to Our Lady of Remedies.
Initially district NS Village on the Big Island of Conception, the town was emancipated by a Royal Charter of 1667, being recognized as the Villa of Our Lady of Remedies Paraty.
The discovery of gold in the Minas Gerais, in the late seventeenth century transformed Paraty village at the gateway to that the thousands sought to enrich the "eldorado" Brazilian.Its port became then the place of the gold shipment and precious stones for the city of Rio de Janeiro, where bound for Lisbon.Large amount of gold and riches left this village, protected by its many fortifications along the bay and its militia; the movement was intense with the entry of fabrics, tools, foodstuff and slaves to supply São Paulo and mines.To this is added the large production of brandy, shipped to Europe as an aperitif, taken as money to buy slaves in Africa and transported to the mines to "feed" the slaves.
The opening of the new road from Rio de Janeiro to Minas Gerais, through the Organ Mountains, caused no major impact on the village, because the port continued to receive the goods to São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais.
From the early nineteenth century, the coffee plantations in the Paraíba Valley brought new life to Paraty as a trading post, with the flow of coffee production in its port and the entry of slaves and manufactured goods from Europe to the interior, including the luxury items for the coffee barons.The city center was expanded and had its roads and improved pavement; came new buildings, more elegant; story houses turned into houses; and in 1844 the village was elevated to city status.
In the second half of the nineteenth century the construction of the railway linking Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo through the Paraíba Valley led to the region the trade route, isolating Paraty and ceasing the movement of the port.The fact this was added to the liberation of the slaves, removing the hand labor of the mills, the farms and the port, made much of the population leave the region in search of better future.Then came the period of isolation in which the boat trip - the career launch - was the only means of transport connecting Paraty to the rest of the country, and the consequent stagnation and economic decline of the city.
The opening of the Paraty-Cunha road in the 1950s began to change this situation, with the discovery of exceptionally preserved city in its architecture and traditions, its overturning the state and the Union, and the beginning of the tourism cycle. The construction of the Rio-Santos in the 1970s consolidate this new economic course, and the challenge was to reconcile development with the preservation of tangible and intangible heritage and the natural beauty of its surroundings, which attract tourists to Paraty.
(Source: Paraty student, Diuner Mello)