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Erechim

Erechim is a Brazilian municipality located in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. A regional center in the northern portion of the state, it is the second most populous city in the region with 97,916 inhabitants, second only to the city of Passo Fundo. The municipality ranks 17th in total gross domestic product in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.Erechim was one of the first planned modern cities in Brazil. City planners were inspired by urban concepts used in the design of Washington, D.C. (1791) and Paris (1850). These were characterized by very wide streets and bold outlines, with diagonal streets converging at important points. Key elements of its design include a perpendicular grid of streets cut by diagonal avenues, blocks of regular dimensions and a promenade around its perimeter.The municipality is located north of Rio Grande do Sul, in the Upper Uruguay, on the ridge of the Serra Geral. The origin of the name of Erechim refers to the ancient indigenous inhabitants of the region, and comes from "Erechim Caingangue", which means "small field"; it probably was given this name as the city was surrounded by forests at the time.HistoryThe city was initially called the Great Barn and then successively named Boa Vista, Boa Vista Erechim, Jose Bonifacio Erechim and finally just Erechim. Like many other villages in Brazil, it was built beside the railroad, in this case, the railroad that linked Rio Grande do Sul to São Paulo.The town was settled mostly by Polish, Italian and German immigrants, 36 pioneers from Europe and others from the old lands (Caxias do Sul). They came by railroad in 1908, building their homes beside the track, and the place soon became a district of Passo Fundo.
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