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History and Culture Tours

May 20, 2009

Recife Guide recommends several tours that allow you to discover the heritage of a destination and experience local culture. Perfect for travelers who like to wander the streets of historic cities, taste regional cuisine and experience local music and traditions. Click on the title of each for more details:

Walking Tours

The Olinda 1-Day Tour through the historic streets of this UNESCO World Heritage center, stopping at many of the most interesting sites of interest. Each tells a part of the unique story of the city. It visits spectacular churches that date from the early 16th century, soon after Brazil was discovered.

The Splendor of Recife Half-Day Walking Tour visits monuments, palaces, a theatre, churches, public gardens and important buildings. Each tells a part of the history of Brazil, from its Colonial past under Portuguese and Dutch rule, to the birth of the Republic, and to the present day.

Religion, Incarceration and Independence Half Day Walking Tour begins in Praça da Independência (Independence Square) before visiting nearby churches and a basilica dating back to the 17th century. It then goes on to the monument of Joaquim Nabuco, who campaigned to end slavery, and to a former prison house, now a center for arts and crafts. The tour will end in a historic cobblestone church courtyard, now a lively nightspot with bars that serve regional cuisine.

Commerce & Catholicism Half-Day Walking Tour visits 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 and vegetables are sold alongside herbs and spices, nuts, flowers and just about any other household item imaginable. There is also a large selection of art and crafts, souvenirs and lace.

Recife Antigo Half-Day Walking Tour visits the old bonded customs house now home to shopping centre Paço da Alfândega. Close by is a 17th century church. The  tour will continue through the cobblestone streets of the area to the Malakoff Tower, an old observatory that now hosts cultural events and exhibitions. Nearby is an open air museum are showing excavations of structures from the Dutch period. 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 distances to all other cities in Brazil are measured. From here there is a view of the port side and the sculpture park of one of the city’s most important artists, Francisco Brennand, established to commemorate the new millennium in 2000.

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