Last modified: 2022-03-05 by ian macdonald
Keywords: parana | lapa |
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The municipality of Lapa (47,909 inhabitants in 2019; 209,386 ha) is
located 60 km south-west of Curitiba.
Lapa emerged in the late 16th century as a resting and wintering place established along the Viamão Road by tropeiros conveying cattle from Rio Grande do Sul to the Sorocaba fair. The early settlement was established by João Pereira Braga and his wife, Josefa Gonçalves da Silva, close to the Curitiba Registrar, a post where rights of passage were perceived, and, accordingly, conveys could stay for long periods. On 13 June 1769, Father João da Silva Reis, the founders' son, established the parish of Santo Antônio de Lisboa, which was renamed to Santo Antônio de Lapa on 13 June 1797. In 1806, having 2,235 inhabitants, the settlement was granted the status of town, under the new name of Vila Nova de Principe, by Captain Francisco Teixeira Coelho.
The municipality of Lapa was established on 7 March 1872, separating from Curitiba. The town's new name ("flagstone") was coined after the great number of stones found in the area.
The Monk's Cave, located in a rocky area, is famous for the mystic and miraculous powers attributed to monk João Maria D'Agostinis, who lived in the cave from 1847 to 1855. Locally revered as St. João Maria, the monk studied local flora, cured illness and prophesied; accordingly, the cave, now part of the Monk State Park, is still a popular place of pilgrimage. Some say that a crack in a stone of the Monk's Cave reproduces the image of the saint.
Historical records state that another two monks subsequently lived in
the cave, one during the Federalist Revolution and an other one in 1912.
The siege of Lapa was an episode of the Federalist Revolution. To stop the insurrection, Marshal Floriano Peixoto appointed General Francisco de Paula Argolo commander of the 5th Military District. In October 1893, the general sent expeditionary forces to the towns of Tijucas, Paranaguá, and Lapa.
While Tijucas and Paranaguá surrendered to the insurgents, Lapa remained under Republican control. On 2 December, General Argolo appointed Colonel Antônio Ernesto Gomes Carneiro (1846-1894) commander of Lapa garrison. Transported by railway, some 1,200 insurgents arrived in Lapa on 14 January 1894; they started the assault of the town three days later. Carneiro refused any surrender proposal and was killed during a fighting on 9 February; Lapa surrendered two days later, which ended a 26-days siege.
The resistance of the Republican troops in Lapa allowed Peixoto to organize the defense of the town of Itararé (São Paulo), and, therefore, to impede the advance of the rebels to Rio de Janeiro.
The remains of the defenders of Lapa are interred in the Heroes' Pantheon, inaugurated on 7 February 1944, one of the most important civic monuments in Paraná.
The flag and arms of Lapa are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 439 promulgated on 12 June 1969.
§1. The coat of arms shall be described as follows.
A Portuguese rounded-off shield, field azure charged with a cannon. The shield supported dexter and sinister by tropeiros after drawings of the time. The writing 13 June 1769.
§2.The flag shall be described as follows.
On a white field the coat of arms, in proportions 3x2, based on the flag of Portugal.
§3. The mural crown argent represents the town. On a blue field (the color representing loyalty in heraldry), a cannon proper, symbolizing the heroic resistance of the besieged Federalist troops, a feat that immortalized Lapa in the national context. The supporters emphasize the presence of tropeiros, a pioneering activity that developed Paraná's hinterland, with Lapa as its center. The date inscribed on the scroll corresponds to the celebration of the first mass, therefore it is the date of foundation of the town.
The former flag of Lapa was green with a vertical white stripe. The former coat of arms featured two fighting bulls.
Ivan Sache, 5 February 2022