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Tour 3: Commerce and Catholicism

February 21, 2009
Highlights from Tour 3

Highlights from Tour 3

Highlights Video on YouTube

Commerce & Catholicism is a Half-Day Walking Tour visiting important churches on route to the city museum which is housed in a fortress built by the Dutch in 1630 to protect the growing commerce in the port of Recife. The tour will then visit Mercado de São José, one of the oldest public markets in Brazil where fish, meat, fruit & Vegetables are sold alongside herbs & spices, nuts, flowers and just about any other household item imaginable. There is also a large selection of art & crafts, souvenirs and lace.

To book this tour, e-mail for a booking form.

mauricio-nassau-bridgeThe tour will begin at in front of Paço da Alfândega shopping center in Recife Antigo before making our way over the Maurício de Nassau bridge to the first stop.

817-monument-close-up1The first Stop will 1817 Square (Praça 1817), named after the 1817 revolution. The beautiful square has an Italian marble water fountain (1846) with an Indian  statue representing Brazil. The monument pays homage to Portuguese aviators Sacadura Cabral and Cago Coutinho who made a transatlantic flight in 1922.

esporito-santo2Our second stop will be the Igreja do Divino Espírito Santo. Built on the site of a Calvinist temple were a church and school (1654) for for a Jesuit order. In 1759 the Jesuits were expelled and the school became the governor’s palace. Not until 1855 was the church status restored.

aviator-monument1A second monument pays homage to Portuguese aviators Sacadura Cabral and Cago Coutinho who made a transatlantic flight in 1922.

Zeplin over Recife 1932

Avaiation was to feature in Recife´s history again in the 1930´s being the first destination for transatlantic crossings to Latin America by the Zeppelin aircraft. Test flights in 1930 and 31 were followed by the first scheduled flights in April 1932. A few years later in 1936 scheduled flights to New Jersey, USA began, but the explosion of an airship on 6th May 1937 put an abrupt end to all commercial Zeppelin flights until the start of the new millennium.

A short walk will take us to the third stop Igreja e Pátio do Terço (The Rosary Church) dating from the early 18th Century. Renovation took place in 1844 and the facade is now covered with Portuguese tiles. In the courtyard of this building Friar Caneca was dismissed for being one of the leaders of the 1824 Equator Confederacy. He was then sent to Cinco Pontas Fortress to be executed.

5-point-forte1Stop four, scene of the execution of Friar Caneca is our next stop. Cinco Pontas Fortress (Five Bastions Fort) was built in 1630 by the Dutch to protect their growing commercial interests in the port and its supplies of drinking water. Today it houses the City of Recife Museum.

igreja-do-sao-joseThe fifth stop will be the Igreja e Pátio de São José do Ribamar founded in 1752 by São Jose of the Ribamar Brotherhood. The area is built on a higher level as the area was prone to flooding.

nossa-senhora-de-penhaNearby is our sixth stop, the Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Penha built by the Friars Capuchin between 1870-82 in the style of Italian renaissance basilicas.

mercadeo-sao-joseOur last stop is Mercado de São José one of the oldest public markets in Brazil inaugurated in 1875, The iron structure is of European design by a French architect. The market sells fish and meat on one half, with handcafts, sculptures, lace, basketwork, gifts and souvenirs on the other side. Around the market are many stalls selling nuts, herbs & spices, fruit & vegetables, flowers. There are also shops selling just about any other merchandise imaginable. This is a true Brazilian experience.

paco-alfandegaAfter our last stop we will walk back to our starting point  Paço da Alfândega once a customs house it is now a shopping centre with upscale shops, restaurants and a food court.

From here you leave us, or join us for lunch (price not included), at a reasonably priced local restaurant offering good quality food. After lunch you can join us for Tour 4: Recife Antigo if you decide to make a day of it.

sinagoga1Tour 4: Recife Antigo – is an afternoon tour visiting the old bonded customs house now home to shopping centre Paço da Alfândega. Close by is the 17th Century church. The  tour will continue through the cobbles stone streets of the area to the Malakoff Tower, an old observatory that now hosts cultural events and exhibitions. Nearby are excavations showing structures from the Dutch period as an open air museum. Next the tour will enter Rua Bom Jesus, formerly known as Jewish Street, home to the oldest synagogue in the Americas. Finally the tour will stop in Praça do Marco Zero the Zero Point from which distanced to all other cities in Brazil are measured. From here there is a view of the port side and the sculpture park of on of the cities most important artists Francisco Brennand, established to commemorate the new millennium in 2000.

To book this tour, e-mail for a booking form.

This is one of several Walking Tours.

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