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Tour 4: Recife Antigo

February 21, 2009
Highlights of Tour 4

Highlights of Tour 4

Highlights Video on YouTube

Tour 4: Recife Antigo is a Hald-Day Walking 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.

Our starting point will be

igreja-da-madre-de-deusOur first stop on the tour will be the Church of the Fathers of the Oratory Congregation (1679). This church was recently restored to its former glory as part of the Recife Antigo restoration program and only opened its doors to the public again recently.

teatro-apoloSecond stop is the Apolo Theatre (1842). The edifice is clad with Marble details imported from Lisbon. In addition to being a theatre the building is also home to the Hermilo Cultural Center.

malakof-torreThe Torre Malakoff (Malakof Tower) is out third stop. It was built in 1855 to house an astronomic observatory. The name pays tribute to the Russian resistance at the Malakoff Tower fortress (Sevastopol) during the 1853-56 Crimea War. Today the tower is hosts a program of cultural events. The roof is a vantage point for some good panoramic photos.

open-air-museumNearby is our fourth stop, an Open Air Museum that surrounds structures from the period of Dutch rule that were unearthed during the recent renovation of the area. The excavation discovered part of the Bom Jesus Arch foundations and of a stone dyke built by the Dutch to drain the area.

sinagoga2The excavation is at the end of Rua Bom Jesus where we will find Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, our fifth stop. This was the first Synagogue in Latin America. At the time the street was named Judeus (Jewish) street. The history of the Jews in Recife is a fascinating story which we will hear during our visit to the recently restored building.

marco-zeroLast stop is Marco Zero square as it has been known since 1938 (formerly Rio Branco Square). It´s new name comes from the fact it is the central point of Pernambuco from which distanced to all other cities are measured. In 1999 the square become a circle during a restoration program. It is now used as a public space for concerts, theatrical performance and shows during carnival.

brenand-recife-antigoFrom the dock side in the square can be seen the Sculpture Park of Francisco Brennand. It was erected on the reef in 2000 to commemorate the new Millenium. If you want a closer look a short row boat trip will take you onto the reef.  Brennand is considered one of the most important artists in Brazil and his works can be found all over Recife and in several other cities. His workshop is housed on the outskirts of the city and makes for a good 1/2days tour. There you can see the galleries and sculpture garden nestled within a large preserved area of Atlantic Forest.

casa-moedaThe tour should end at approximately 5.30pm. From here you can leave us or join us for a drink at a local bar owned and operated by a local artist and photographer. This bohemian bar is a great place to relax with a Caipirinha (the national drink of Brazil) or taste a few of the many Cachaça´s (sugar cane schnapps) they have here. Casa da Moeda is in Moeda street (near shopping center Paco Alfandega). Most nights it offers live music which varies in type by the day. If you are lucky you may hear Chorinho sometimes called the weeping guitar, a style of music dating back to the early 19th Century.

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

This is one of several Walking Tours.

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