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Boa Viagem discrict.
Boa Viagem discrict.
Recife ( Portuguese for reef), 2005 population 1,501,000 (3,599,181 in the metropolitan area) is the second largest city in the Northeastern Region of Brazil and the largest metropolitan area. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area in Brazil and the capital of Pernambuco. Recife is also where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean.It is situated at 8°4′S 34°52′W. Surrounded by rivers and crossed by bridges, Recife is full of islands and mangroves that magnify its geography. It is known as the American Venice, thanks to its fluvial resemblance with the european city, and is considered one of Brazil's cultural capitals.Recife is the birthplace of poets and writers Manoel Bandeira, Carlos Pena Filho, Sebastião Uchoa Leite, Nelson Rodrigues, Gilberto Freyre, Paulo Freire and João Cabral de Melo Neto; and of such composers as Lenine, Fred Zero Quatro, Otto, Pochyua Andrade, Don Tronxo, Valença Brothers, Antônio Nóbrega, Naná Vasconcelos, Jorge du Peixe, Paulo Diniz, Fernando Lobo, Antônio Maria and Chico Science. Canadian ice hockey player Robyn Regehr and footballer Rivaldo, Juninho Pernambucano were also born in Recife.

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Tourism and recreation
Local Music
Main Neighborhoods

History - Contents

The area around Recife was one of the first in Brazil to be settled by the Portuguese Crown. In 1534, the Portuguese King divided Brazil into Hereditary Capitaincies ("Capitanias Hereditárias", in Portuguese); the Portuguese realized that they had no human or financial resources to invest in such a large and distant colony, and decided to assign this task to private entrepreneurs, called Donatários (this system had already been successful in the settlement of the Portuguese colonies in Africa).Because of several problems (the most obvious being the lack of support from the Portuguese metropolis), most Capitaincies failed. One of the few to prosper was the Capitaincy of Pernambuco, which was assigned to Duarte Coelho Pereira (the man who founded Olinda and became famous for, by expressing his enchantment with the beautiness of the place, giving the name to the city).Pernambuco prospered based on the sugar cane industry (sugar from beet was not industrially produced in Europe until the beginning of the 19th century). At the time, in Europe sugar cane plantations could be grown only in Andalusia and the Algarve; in the 1420s, sugar cane was carried to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores; the sugar from Brazil was very appreciated in Europe. Duarte Coelho found in Pernambuco plenty of fertile land and an excellent climate for the cultivation of cane; all he needed then was plenty of work force, to work in the crops and to keep the "engenhos" (rustic wooden machinery) moving.At first, the Portuguese tried to use the native indians, but they soon realized that the indian culture was not compatible with the work in the engenhos. The solution was to import black slaves from Africa; from the 16th to the 19th century, Pernambuco received many slaves, making it one of the Brazilian States where black culture has most visible traces (in dance, music, culinary, etc).Alone, this mixture of Portuguese, indians and black slaves would be enough to make Recife one of the most culturally diversified cities in Brazil. The Dutch came to add to the mix. From 1580 to 1640, the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal became only one, under the rule of the former. Spain was in war against Holland, and determined that the Dutch, who were the main distributors of Brazilian sugar in Europe, would be prohibited from coming to Brazil.The Dutch decided to invade several sugar producing cities in Brazil, including Salvador and Natal. From 1630 to 1654, they took control of Recife and Olinda. During this period, the first synagogue of the Americas was founded in the city, and for this brief time Recife became one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The inhabitants fought on their own to expel the Dutch, being helped by the involvement of the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War. This was known as the Insurreição Pernambucana (Pernambucan Insurrection). Most of the Jews fled to North America, starting the first Jewish community of New Amsterdam (now known as New York City).During the 18th century, riots spread throughout the city, in which the rich farmers of Olinda and the traders from Recife clashed. Recife had a clear advantage in relation to Olinda: Olinda has no harbour, while Recife's Harbor is one of the best on the Atlantic. Recife's victory asserted the supremacy of it's bourgeoisie over the decadent sugar aristocrats of Olinda. This was a decisive factor for Recife's growth. Recife is now a large city whereas Olinda is a small historical town.

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Geography - Contents

Recife is located in the so called Zona da Mata (Forest Zone - the zone which used to be taken by the Atlantic Forest) of Pernambuco, an area a few tens of kilometers wide adjoining the coast. Thanks to the proximity with the sea, Recife is not so affected by the droughts commonly observed in the arid zone of the Sertão, which takes the best part of the West of the State of Pernambuco.Temperature in Recife range from 23 to 27 degrees Celsius. The rainy season usually goes from February to July.Within its metropolitan area are the cities of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Olinda, Paulista, Abreu e Lima, Igarassu, Camaragibe, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, and São Lourenço da Mata.

Tourism and recreation - Contents

Boa Viagem Beach, Recife
Boa Viagem Beach, Recife
Among Recife's main tourist attractions are:
  • Churches and historical monuments, including 17th and 18th Century constructions from Portuguese and Dutch colonizers
  • Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art
  • Ancient Recife buildings: Forte Orange
  • Boa Viagem Beach (the city's most important beach)
  • Olinda - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops
  • The Carnival at Recife Antigo
There are many beaches surrounding Recife, such as:
  • Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (60 km to the south)
  • Maracaípe, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (65 km to the south)
  • Serrambi, Ipojuca, Pernambuco (70 km to the south)
  • Tamandaré, Barreiros, Pernambuco (110 km to the south)
  • Itamaracá, Pernambuco (40 km to the north)
  • Maragogi, Alagoas (150 km to the south)
  • Praia de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte (280 km to the north)
  • Tambaba, Conde, Paraíba (115 km to the north)

Local Music - Contents

  • Frevo
  • Maracatu
  • Forró
  • Manguebeat
  • Baião
  • Xaxado

Main Neighborhoods - Contents

  • Torre
  • Ipsep
  • Boa Viagem
  • Boa Vista
  • Bongi
  • Brasília Teimosa
  • Cidade Universitária
  • Cordeiro
  • Aflitos
  • Casa Forte
  • Derby
  • Tamarineira
  • Espinheiro
  • Graças
  • Ibura
  • Ilha do Leite
  • Iputinga
  • Pina
  • Recife Antigo
  • Santo Amaro
  • Santo Antônio
  • Setúbal
  • Várzea
  • Beberibe
  • Casa Amarela
  • Afogados
  • Imbiribeira
  • Muribeca
  • Estância
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