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Recife ( ) is the 5th largest Metropolitan area in Brazilmarker with 3,768,902 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 4th largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper was 1,561,659 in 2009. Recife is located where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Oceanmarker. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Recife means "reef" in Portuguese, in allusion to the coral reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city center characterize its geography and gives it the moniker of the "Brazilian Venicemarker."

The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; most relevant products are those derived from cane (sugar and ethanol), electronics, food, and others; thanks to the fiscal incentives of government, many industrial enterprises were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial center of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife itself plus 32,500 in the Metro Area which will total more than 85,000.

A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil's second largest medical center, (second only to São Paulomarker); modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighboring States. Like all other cities in the Northeast, Recife is developing its tourist sector. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists. Recife's infrastructure is among the most developed in Brazil for travellers and business people, though there is wide room for improvement.

The city is also a renowned educational center, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife to attain their education.

Recife is served by the Gilberto Freyre/Guararapes International Airportmarker which connects Recife to several Brazilian destinations as well as major international cities in Europe, the United States and South America. Also, together with Natalmarker these are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the paradise islands of Fernando de Noronhamarker, World Heritage Site since 2001.


Sunset in Jaqueira.
Due to the city's proximity to the equator, Recife weather is generally warm. Recife has a number of islands, rivers, waterways and bridges that crisscross the city.Recife is located amidst tropical forests which are distinguished by high rainfall levels resulting in poor soil quality as the rainfall washes away the nutrients.There is an absence of extreme temperatures and a cool breeze due to the trade winds from the Atlantic Oceanmarker.


Recife has a tropical forest. Rainforests are characterized by high rainfall, with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between and . The soil can be poor because high rainfall tends to leach out soluble nutrients. There are several common characteristics of tropical rainforest trees. The city of Recife is formed by three islands (Recife, Santo Antônio, and Boa Vista). Between the islands are the rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe.




  • Araça and Olho d'agua

Large water supplier (Dams)
  • Prata do Meio and Apipucos


Recife has a year-round tropical climate, with warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity throughout the year. However, these conditions are relieved by a near absence of extreme temperatures and pleasant trade winds blowing from the ocean. January is the warmest month, with mean temperatures ranging from to , with sun; July experiences the coolest temperatures, with mean temperatures ranging from to , with rain.


Recife in the morning.
The area around Recife was one of the first in Brazil to be settled by the Portuguese Crown.In 1537, John III of Portugal divided Brazil into Hereditary Captaincies (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 Captaincies failed. One of the few to prosper was the Captaincy of Pernambuco, which was assigned to Duarte Coelho Pereira (the man who founded Olindamarker (which has its historic town center considered a world heritage site by Unesco and became famous for expressing his enchantment with the beauty of the place, giving the name to the city).

Pernambuco prospered from the sugarcane industry (beet sugar was not industrially produced in Europe until the beginning of the 19th century). At the time, in Europe, sugarcane plantations could be grown only in Andalusiamarker and the Algarve; in the 1420s, sugarcane was carried to the Canary Islandsmarker, Madeiramarker and the Azores; the sugar from Brazil was very much appreciated in Europe. Duarte Coelho found in Pernambuco plenty of fertile land and an excellent climate for the cultivation of cane; all he needed was labor to work the crops and to keep the "engenhos" (rustic wooden machinery) moving.

At first, the Portuguese tried to use the indigenous peoples of Brazil, but since Portugal was the country with the strongest black slave market because of their previous expeditions to Africa, using black slaves would not only be easier to handle, but it would be cheaper as well; from the 16th to the 19th century, Pernambuco received many slaves, making it one of the Brazilian States where black culture has the most visible traces (in dance, music, culinary, etc).

This mixture of Portuguese, (native) Indians and black slaves would be enough to make Recife one of the most culturally diverse cities in Brazil. The Dutch added to the mix.From 1580 to 1640, the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal were unified under the rule of the former. Spain was engaged in a war against the Netherlandsmarker, 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 Salvadormarker and Natalmarker. From 1630 to 1654, they took control of Recife and Olinda.During this period, Recife became one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The first Jewish community and the first synagogue in the Americas was founded in the city.

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 Amsterdammarker; others fled to North America, starting the first Jewish community of New Amsterdam (now known as New York Citymarker).

During the 18th century, riots spread throughout the city, in which the rich farmers of Olindamarker 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 largest on the Atlantic Oceanmarker. Recife's victory asserted the supremacy of its bourgeoisie over the decadent sugar aristocrats of Olinda. This was a decisive factor for Recife's growth. Recife is now a large city whereas Olindamarker is a small historical town. Recife is an historical city, distinguished by the opulence of its colonial buildings, with its colonization rooted in different nations; Portugalmarker, the Netherlandsmarker, Francemarker, Englandmarker.


According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) of 2009, there were 3,768,902 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Recife. The population density was . The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 1,958,358 Pardo (brown) people (52.9%), 1,428,972 White people (38.6%), 296,160 Black people (8.0%), 14,808 Asian or Amerindian people (0.4%).

The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the 5th most populous of Brazilmarker, after São Paulomarker, Rio de Janeiromarker, Belo Horizontemarker, Porto Alegremarker and the 1st in the Northeast region. The city is the 9th most populous of the country with 1,561,659 inhabitants, and third largest city in the Northeast region,according with IBGE 2009. The most populous neighborhoods of Recife are Boa Viagem (100,388), Casa Amarela (69,134), and Várzea (64,512) (2008).

Population Increase of Recife
Year Inhabitants
1630 Artigo na Revista do Instituto do Ceará - Página consultada em 27 de agosto de 2007. 7,000
1654 8,000
1709 12,000
1790 15,000
1810 25,000
1838 60,000
1872 126,671
1890 111,000
1900 113,106
Year Inhabitants
1920 238,843
1940 348,424
1950 524,682
1960 788,336
1970 1,060,701
1980 1,203,899
1990 1,288,607
2000 1,422,905
2006 1,515,052


The Patroness Saint of Recife is Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nossa Senhora do Carmo), dating back one hundred years ago (1909). Every July 16, her day, she is remembered by the Catholics in Recife, in her church.
Religion Percentage Number
Catholic 68.02% 976,807
Protestant 23.78% 358,564
No religion 5.1% 87,910
Spiritist 1.53% 30,782
Source: IBGE 2000.


Modern Recife.
Aerial view.
According to 1996 IPEA statistics, the GDP was estimated in R$ 8 billion (Brazilian Reais), discounting agricultural activities. Manufacturing represented 17.4% and the sector of the commerce and service 82.53%. In 2006, IBGE estimates indicate that the GDP just of the city had grown to R$ 18.3 billion.

Recife is one of Brazilmarker's prime business centers, largely because it has one International Airport and two International ports. One is located in the town itself, and the other, the port of Suape, is located about away. Just south of Recife is the region's main industrial area, where the following industries can be found: brewing and canning, automotive electronics, tube manufacturing, chocolate manufacturing, textiles, etc.

Recife has shared in the prosperity of Northeastern Brazil that resulted from development promoted after 1960 by Sudene (Superintendência para o Desenvolvimento do Nordeste), a federal organization. Although its retail and wholesale trade have grown in response to the region's increases in population and wealth, the market area and the walkways of the city's bridges are crowded with vendors selling small items.

The GDP for the city was R$ 18,318,451,000 (2006), and the per capita income for the city was R$ 12,091.

Information technology industry

Digital Port on the far end.

Recife has an area dedicated to information technology called "Porto Digital" (Digital Port) with more than 90 companies and 3,000 High Tech Jobs. It was founded in July 2000 and has since attracted major investments. Generating some R$10 billion (Brazilian Reais) a year, it produces technology that is exported to Japanmarker, Chinamarker, among other countries. Software manufacturing is the main activity in the Porto Digital. The Porto Digital cluster comprises small and median companies, but multinationals like Motorola, Samsung, Dell and Sun Microsystems are also installed in Porto Digital. IBM and Microsoft transferred their regional headquarters to Recife. Major developments in the local cluster include web-based solutions as well as solutions in outsourcing, biometry, information security, IT infrastructure, mobility/wi-fi, distance education, and games. After six years of activity, Porto Digital has been expanded with new installations around Recife, other Brazilian states, and even foreign countries.

Porto Digital's startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The school began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (SUNW) Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Professors at the school also teamed up to launch Centro de Estudos e Sistemas Avançados do Recife (C.E.S.A.R), a business incubator that has played a vital role in the birth of some 30 companies.

Medical pool

The Metropolitan Region of Recife has the 2nd largest medical pool of Brazilmarker, after São Paulomarker. Together they make up 417 hospitals and clinics with 72,000 employees in the Metro Area and more than 120,000 in the State of Pernambuco. The medical pool offers a total of 8,990 beds and, according to the Union of the Hospitals of Pernambuco, recorded in 2,000 an invoicing of 220 millions of reais. It is thanks to the pool that Pernambuco has access to more computed tomography devices than countries like Canadamarker or Francemarker.

A large portion of the modern hospitals which are included in the pool is located between the neighbourhoods of Derby and of the Ilha do Leite. The Hospital Real Português de Beneficência Portuguesa em Pernambuco, or "Hospital Português" (Portuguese Hospital) for short, is one of the most renowned hospitals in the country. Many people from neighbouring states go to Recife for treatment, as it has the largest and best medical facilities in the North-Northeast of Brazilmarker. Recife has three universities of medicine, 2 public, Federal University of Pernambuco and University of Pernambuco; and 1 private, Escola Pernambucana de Medicina FBV/IMIP (Medical School of Pernambuco).

Logistic Center

Due to its ports, airport, and geographic location in the northeastern region of Brazilmarker, Recife is considered one the biggest logistics centers of Brazil. Logistic and Communications Economic sector employees 4% of the people in Recife, 12,3% in Jaboatão dos Guararapesmarker and over 9% in the Metropolitan Area. Those numbers could increase by the end of 2010 with the conclusion of the Transnordestina (main NE Trainline with 1,800/1,118 km/mi of extension, which will cross 3 and connect 7 States (34 municipalities in Pernambuco alone) products with Suape portmarker (PE) and Pecem Port (CE)) with costs that are estimated to be around 4.5 BR$.

Recife has historically benefited from its central location in the Northeast region. In a 200 miles (322 km) radius from Recife, it is possible to find four state capitals, two internationalsmarker and three regionals airports, five internationals portsmarker, 12 million people, 51% of the research centers of Northeast and 35% of the region GDP. Similarly, in a 500 miles (805 km) radius it is possible to find seven state capitals, five international and five regionals airports, nine internationals ports and two fluvial ports, almost 30 million people and 90% of the northeast region GDP.

Convention Centers

The city at night.
Panoramic view.
According to the International Congress and Convention Associations (ICCA) Recife is the 6th Brazilian city with more International events. Many events taking place during the year are:
  • O Virtuosi, Festival International de Musica de Pernambuco (International Music Festival);
  • O Mimo, Mostra International de Musica em Olindamarker (International Music Show in Olindamarker);
  • A feira da Musica Brasil/Porto Musical (Brasil Music Port);
  • A Fispal Recife, Feira Internacional da Alimentacao (International Food Festival);
  • A Aficons, Feira Internacional de Materiais, equipamentos e servicos da construção (International Construction Workshop);
  • Many Music Shows, Professionals and Cientifics Meetings, etc;
  • The Recife e Olinda Carnival, the biggest of all events.

Due to its geographic location, tourism and city infrastructure which includes large Conventions Centers:

  • Centro de Convenções de Pernambuco (Pernambuco Convention Center)
The 3rd largest convention center in Brazilmarker with 2 large theatres with 2,800 seats, 4 Auditory rooms with 1,600 seats, 17 business meetings rooms, VIP rooms, large cultural multi-purpose lobby, more than 1,800 parking spots, in a total area of 75,000 square meters. It's considered one of the most developded in South America and fit for any kind of event.
  • Centro de Convenções da UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco Convention Center)
Modern theatre with 1,931 seats and 2,071 square meters of exposition area located in the University Campus.
  • Many Hotels Conventions Rooms throughout the metro area.

Tourism and Recreation

Resort in Muro Alto beach RMR.
The city at night.
Golden chapel
The celebrations, holidays and other events are numerous during the whole year. Thus the New Year begins at the beach, Praia de Boa Viagem and in Old Recife. The carnival of Recife and Olindamarker (which has its historic town center considered world heritage site by UNESCOmarker in 1982) begins many weeks ahead in December with innumerable balls and processions. In the city, the carnival festivities begin in December, as locals begin preparing for the official Carnival, which starts the week before Ash Wednesday. The pre-Carnival parties usually consist of percussion groups practicing in local clubs, city streets and squares, and even Carnival balls. There are a variety of rhythms from different cultures. Carnival officially starts with the Galo da Madrugada, a party in Downtown Recife attracting many people from several States of Brazil, and other parts of the world.Recife got well Internationals established 3, 4 and 5 Stars Hotels as well Pousadas (traditional Bed & breakfast) and Apart-Hotels totaling more than 11,500 bedrooms and this number goes to over than 30,000 Metropolitan Area. Most of all with large experience in reception of Nationals and Internationals tourists and a few ones with Sports complex, mini Golfe, Spa, Panoramic Pools, etc.

Mercado de São José (Market of Saint Joseph), a building worth seeing, is of old iron construction with a very popular market nearby. In the Fort Cinco Pontes (Fort of Five Points) is the state museum, (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco). At the rectangular Pátio de São Pedro are the Cathedral São Pedro (Cathedral of Saint Peter) dating from the year 1782 and restored colonial houses, with numerous restaurants, bistros and bars. In the Bairro Santo Antônio (Saint Anthony Neighborhood), at the meeting place of the rivers Capibaribe and Beberibe, is the Praça da República (Square of the Republic) with the Teatro Santa Isabel (Theatre of Saint Isabel), with its neoclassic front - well worth seeing, the Law Courts, and the Palácio da Justiça (Palace of the Justice). Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) is an old prison that has been converted into a cultural space and shopping center.

Built between 1835 and 1855, the Malakoff Tower, a monument constructed in Tunisianmarker style, used to be an observatory and now is a cultural center and a place for popular manifestations. It is located at Arsenal da Marinha Square. It has been registered as a Historical Patrimony and was named after a similar monument on Crimean peninsula, used as a defense center for Sebastopol.

Nature has a special place in Dois Irmãos Park, 387 hectares of Atlantic Forest reserve and 14 hectares of botanical gardens. There are also 800 wild animals, the Natural Science Museum and various ecological trails. The metropolitan area has also a giant water park 20 km (12 mi) North of Recife, called Veneza water park which has nearly one million sq/ft of area, ten millions litters of water and lots of water slides for the youngest.

Among Recife's main tourist attractions are:
  • Churches , historical monuments, public markets including 17th and 18th century constructions from Portuguese and Dutch colonizers;
  • Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art;
  • Ricardo Brennand Institute: cultural institute with museum, pinacotec and library;
  • Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings;
  • Boa Viagem beach (the inside city's most important beach) and many beautiful beachs in the metropolitan and state area;
  • Casa da Cultura: souvenir shops in an ancient prison building;
  • The Carnival at locations such as downtown and Recife Antigo;
  • Olindamarker's historic town center considered world heritage site by UNESCOmarker;
  • Shopping, Conventions Centers;
  • News and Antiques/Olds Cinemas, Theatres and Art galleries.

Shopping centers

Shopping Paço da Alfândega.
Shopping Center Recife, the first Shopping Center in the North/Northeastern region, was inaugurated in 1980 through the initiatives of two large groups of entrepreneurs: Ancar and Ecisa. After twenty-three years and three expansion projects, Shopping Center Recife has been transformed into one of the largest in Latin America, and the first "mega-mall" in Northeastern Brazil. With a total area of nearly two million square feet, 70% of which is constructed, the shopping center has 465 stores, 10 movie theaters, 8 restaurants, 4 food service courts with 57 fast food mini-restaurants, and 5 thousand parking spaces in the parking garages. 90 thousand people per day circulate in its establishments, with 32 million, 400 thousand consumers per year passing through the facilities.

Shopping Center Tacaruna. The first great center for purchases in the North/West zone of the Recife Metropolitan Region was initiated on April 29, 1997, with the intention of improving the economies the cities of Recife, Olindamarker, and Paulistamarker. The JCPM Group created Shopping Center Tacaruna, a mix of stores, services, and relaxation. There are 187 national and international commercial businesses, three anchor stores, a food court, and 8 movie theaters. These numbers will be growing since Tacaruna is currently undergoing an expansion project.

Shopping Paço da Alfândega. The new center for shopping is divided into four levels: services, fashion, dining, and panoramic restaurants. Outside the building is Livraria Cultura (cultural bookshop), the largest bookstore in Brazil, with 26,000 square feet. It also features the Convention and Business Center for the Recife wharf area with two parking areas (800 spaces), a garden, observatory, open air exhibition space, an area for fashion shows, a mini-convention center, bookstore, auditorium (300 seats), and 4 meeting rooms. Rather uniquely, the business hours are from midday until midnight.

Plaza Shopping Casa Forte was inaugurated in November 1998. Fashion and charm mark the style here, conquering the people of the city. It receives 12 thousand people daily, coming principally from the neighborhoods of Casa Forte, Espinheiro, Graças, Aflitos and Poço da Panela. The Plaza has a structure composed of more than 140 stores, kiosks, a food court, and area for relaxation.
Boa Viagem Beach.
Itamaracá Beach RMR.


Recife Beaches
  • Boa Viagem, Pina and Brasilia Teimosa

Jaboatãomarker Beaches
  • Piedade, Candeias and Barra de Jangada

Olindamarker Beaches
  • Rio Doce and Casa Caiada

South Beaches
  • Gaibu, Calhetas, Itapuama, Pedra Xaréu, Cabo, Enseada dos Corais (Cabo de Santo Agostinhomarker RMR) 30/50 km S
  • Porto De Galinhas, Muro Alto, Maracaipe, Serrambi, Toquinho, Gamboa (Ipojucamarker RMR) 50/75 km S
  • Barra de Sirinhaém, Carneiros, Barreiros, Tamandaré, San José da Coroa Grande (anothers cities) 75/110 km S
  • Maragogimarker (Alagoas state) ( S

North Beaches
  • Pau Amarelo, Janga and Maria Farinha' ( with one of the largest water park in Brazil - Veneza water park (Paulista RMR) 18/29 km N
  • Itamaracá, Gavéa, Jaguaribe (Itamaracámarker RMR) 30/45 km N
  • Catuama, Carne de Vaca, Ponta de Pedras (anothers cities) 45/80 km N
  • Fernando de Noronhamarker 545 km NE - 1 flight hour

Porto de Galinhas, Ipojuca, Pernambuco ( to the south). The most popular nearby tourist destination. High end hotels and restaurants compete with more popular options and lie within the budget of any traveller.

Diplomatic Missions

Recife has a large number of Diplomatic missions, listed below by alphabetical order:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 3

  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 3
  • 2
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 3

  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3

  • 2
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2,6
  • 5
  • 2
  • 3

1 - General Consulate,2 - Consulate,3 - Honorary Consulate,4 - Embassy,5 - Honorary consulate & commercial office,6 - Olindamarker


Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum. There are also international schools, such as the American School of Recife and the ABA Maple Bear Canadian School.

Educational institutions

Recife is the most important educational centre of the state.
Recife is home to several higher education institutions (83), notably several public-owned universities:


Recife is one of the most cultural sites in Brazil, and is the home of several artists, musicians and writers. It is also home to the frevo, a regional dance and music, typical in the carnival, and the Mangue Beat, a type of Brazilian rock with mixture of Maracatu, Ciranda, Rap and other music styles. During carnival, downtown Recife holds one of the most authentic and democratic celebrations: every year more than one and a half million people open the festivities of the Brazilian Carnival at the Galo da Madrugada. Just Recife and Olinda together got 25 museums, 38 art galleries, 2 Orchestra houses, 15 theatres, 1 opera house and more than 40 cinemas.


The Museum of Pernambuco State (Museu do Estado de Pernambuco)Housed in a 19th century mansion in Recife, capital of Pernambuco state, the "Museu do Estado de Pernambuco (MEPE)" dates back to 1929. From Masters who portrayed the Colonial period, as well as the Dutch invasion (1630) to 20th and 21st century, the museum comprises over 12 thousand art pieces. Periodically the museum hosts the "Salão de Arte Contemporânea de Pernambuco" when emerging artists are selected to represent the new run of local professionals who will help to maintain and shape the new profile of the local art scenery.

Kahal Zur Israel SynagoguemarkerKahal Zur Israel, the historic Recife synagogue in the Recife Antigo, is the oldest one in the Americas, dating back to the 17th Century. Reopened recently, Kahal is part of the Pernambuco historic patrimony. It was founded by Jews who were once expelled from Portugal and settled in the Netherlands. Some of those Jews immigrated to "New Holland" when the Dutch invaded the Northeastern portion of Brazilian lands occupied by the Portuguese. When the Portuguese, helped by Portuguese-Brazilians, reconquered the land, Recife Portuguese-Brazilian Jews moved further north with the Dutch, whose trips Jews patronized, where "New Amsterdam" was founded on Manhattan island. Thus, the first New York City synagogue was created by the founders of the first synagogue in the New World, in lower Manhattan. It later moved to the Upper West Side, where it is still called "The Portuguese and Spanish Synagogue."

Francisco Brennand Ceramic ShopFrancisco Brennand, one of the most important names in contemporary sculptures in Brazil, displays his ceramic works in enormous open sheds, between monuments and gardens. It is set in an old brick factory that belonged to the sculptor's family.

Museum of the Northeastern ManThe broad collection describes Pernambuco's culture starting from three main themes: the sugar-cane production cycle, the northeastern man's life style and the folkloric and religious manifestations.

Gilberto Freyre FoundationThis farmhouse, from the 18th century, was Gilberto Freyre's old residence. Artworks, arts and crafts, book collections and objects that belonged to the Pernambuco writer and sociologist are displayed here.
Ricardo Brennand Institute.

Ricardo Brennand InstituteSet up in a building that reproduces medieval style, it has a collection of pieces from the Dutch domination period in Recife, as well as daggers and armor.

Recife City MuseumSet up in a room in Cinco Pontas Fort, it houses pictures, reproductions of old paintings and objects that describe Recife since the period of Dutch rule.

Recife Cinema Festival

Also knows as Recife Audiovisual Festival or Cine-PE, its a competitive film and audiovisual festival host in Recife. Its dedicated to the Brazilian and state production of feature & short films; as videos and documentaries as well. Founded in 1997 by the couple Alfredo & Sandra Bertini, which are the directors since then. Between 1997 and 2008 has participating 1806 films (between competitive applications and National & International invitations) of all types and genres for a public of over 250,000 people.

The main trophy given by the organization between an specialized and independent judge is designated of Calunga (which is a puppet used by maracatu dancers), for the diverses film categories represented. Also, another important trophy is the Gilberto Freyre, addressed for the feature film that best express the appreciation of Brazilianmarker identity through the concept of racial diversity, that characterizes the Brazilian ethnic formation and culture. Another prizes are gaven by independent private partners, usually in money, and distributed by the diverses categories.

Its held usually between end of April/May, in the Conventions Center of Recife (CECON). Also includes seminaries, workshops, meetings, musicals, arts exhibition; which brings many Cinema professionals and/or lovers making this festival one of the most important in the Brazilian film market.

  • Recife Cinema History
Recife and consequently Pernambuco has a tradition in the Brazilian film making history. In the pioneer times of the Brazilianmarker cinema emerged the Regional movements. One of those, was designated Ciclo de Recife ( Recife cycle), between 1922-1931. Despite adverse conditions, during this cycle was realized in Recife 13 feature films (usually about drama & Romance) and 7 realistic films (usually ordered by authorities to show their public works). Despite pervasive influence of U.S. and European cinemas in the silent film times, the Recife cycle was one of the most important, regional and produtive of them. One of the most important movie was Aitaré da Praia, which is recognized for pioneering the rise of regional themes (1925). Anothers large successful films was Retribuição (1923) and A Filha do Advogado (1926). Another important phase of the Pernambuco/Recife film history was in the 1970s with a movement called Super 8, often used for home videos and documentaries realized by students, curious and aspirant film makers, due to the utilization of 8 mm film, proportionated by the new technology released by Kodak.

  • Recife Film Theaters
Multiplex Recife, Multiplex Tacaruna, Multiplex Boa Vista, Cine Rosa e Silva, CineBox Guararapes, Cinema do Parque, Multiplex Casa Forte, Cinema da Fundação, Cinema Apolo, Cinema Arcoíris and UCI Kinoplex.


Recife cuisine is the cuisine of its region, Pernambuco and the Northeast, and the culinary influences of the area can be traced to a dynamic assortment of cultures: the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Moors, Africans and Indigenous. Many dishes come with a delicious coconut sauce, palm oil (dendê) and feature corn, manioc roots, yam, fresh seafood (shirimp, crab, lobster cooked with exotic sauces) and native fruits. Grilled meats are also big here, especially goat and beef dishes.

The typical regional main dishes include caldeirada (seafood stew with octopus cooked with various spices and coconut milk, could be served with white beans or farofa), feijoada Pernambucana (made it with brown beans instead black), sarapatel, buchada (goat stew), dobradinha (beans stew), roast goat, mão de vaca (hand cow stew), Rabada (ox tail stew with manioc flour), cozido Pernambucano (beef stew), chambaril, galinha de cabidela (chicken in a blood sauce), peixada Pernambucana (fish stew), macaxeira com charque (cassava with beef jerky), quiabada (okras with beef), feijão com arroz (rice and beans), guaiamuns (giant crabs) and one of the most traditional dish, is Carne-de-sol (Sun beef), which consists of beef dried in the sun and usually served with green beans. For dessert, it has bolo de rolo (cake roll), cake Souza Leão, cartola (top hat cake) which consists in fried long banana with cheese topped with cinnamon and sugar. The diversity continuos for the breakfast as one person can find cuscus of sweet corn or manioc, yams and cassava with charque (corned beef or beef jerky), sweet potato, goiabada,fried long banana , mugunzá, regional fruits, bread, tapioca, rice pudding, porridge, yogurt, queijo coalho, corn bread, hominy and pamonha. To accompany this meal, is often used coffee with/or milk and juices from regional fruits such as from cashew, pineapple, mangoes, acerola, guava, passion fruit, umbu, hog plum, pitanga, jackfruit, orange, avocado and the regional most famous caldo-de-cana and água-de-coco juices.

According with Abrasel (Brazilian Association of Bars & Restaurants) Recife has over than 1.7 thousands bars and restaurants which served regional (partially listed above), Brazilian (such as Rodízio, moqueca, bobó de camarão, açaí)and International dishes from all over the world; which has made it the first gastronomic pole of the Northeast and the third one in the whole country after São Paulomarker and Riomarker.

Festa Junina (Saint John Festival)

Maracatu dancers.
Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazilmarker by the Portuguesemarker for whom St John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently from what happens on the European Midsummer Day. The festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of St Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Typical foods and beverages are served. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costumes-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and St John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.


Galo da Madrugada
The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazilmarker. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets. Pernambuco has large Carnival celebrations with more than 3000 shows in the street historic center performed for over than 430 local groups, including the Frevo, typical Pernambuco music. Another famous carnival music style from Pernambuco is Maracatu. The cities of Recife and Olindamarker hold the most authentic and democratic carnaval celebrations in Brazilmarker. The largest carnival in Brazil is Galo da Madrugada, which takes place in Downtown Recife on Carnival Saturday. Another famous event is the "Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos." Carnival Recife's joyous Carnival is nationally known, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios "shaking" the Boa Viagem Neighborhood. On Friday, people take to the streets to dance to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat groups. There are still many other entertainment poles spread out around the city, featuring local and national artists. One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one and a half million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.
"Frevo" was born from the confluence of European and Afro-Brazilian cultures, as probably did all the other musical genres consolidated in Brazil. Historians from Pernambuco say that, before the term appeared in Recife's 'Jornal Pequeno', it was already heard and danced in a symbiosis of polkas, 'modinhas', 'dobrados' e 'maxixes' e 'jogos pastoris' (stick and rope formations) along the streets of Pernambuco's capital. The music band (civilian or military) of the time helped giving the sound the defining character we have come to know as the Frevo, a musical mass defined by the brasses. About the Street-Frevo, conductor Guerra Peixe said once that "it is the only popular genre that does not admit the 'play-by-ear composer'. He was referring to the technical hardship of this kind of music, and stressing the role of conductors who led the 'frevistical' troupes.


International Airport

Guararapes International Airportmarker, also known as Gilberto Freyre International Airport, is the airport serving Recife, has been open in its newest structure since July 2004 and is 52,000 square meters in area. It has the longest runway in the Northeast region, at 3,305 meters. Its extension permits operations with jumbo jets, such as the Boeing 747-400, which can carry 290 passengers and 62 tons of cargo or Airbus A330/340. Guararapes had its capacity expanded from 1.5 million to 5 million passengers a year, which was almost reached in 2008 with more than 4.6 million passengers (there are also plans to increase to 7.2 m). Current domestic destinations include most major cities in Brazilmarker,and the state cities of Fernando de Noronhamarker and Petrolinamarker; there are also international flights to Parismarker, Francemarker, Lisbonmarker, Portugalmarker, Buenos Airesmarker, Argentinamarker, Miamimarker and Atlantamarker in the United Statesmarker. The main Airlines operating in Recife Airportmarker include TAM Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, TAP Portugal, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Livingston Energy Flight, Blue Panorama Airlines, Webjet, TRIP Linhas Aéreas, OceanAir, Flex Linhas Aéreas and Azul Brazilian Airlines. There is a pipeline running underneath carrying kerosene to fuel the airplanes, the safest way to do this because it does away with the need for tank trucks in the maneuvering area.

The shopping and leisure area was also totally remodeled, using the "Aeroshopping" concept, which transforms an airport into a center for business, comfort and high-quality products and services. The commercial spaces will be occupied in stages and the final total will be 142 shops. The parking structure has been ready since December 2002. There are three levels with total capacity for 2080 vehicles, over four times the previous 500 spots. There is space for events and exhibitions on the fourth level. It is located 1 km (0.6 mi) from Boa Viagem beach, 9 km (5.5 mi) from the city center and 19 km (11 mi) from the Suape Port.


Suape portmarker, is located in the city of Ipojucamarker, inside the metropolitan region. Suape serves ships 365 days a year without any restrictions with regard to tidal schedules. To assist in the docking operation of the ships, the port offers a monitoring system and laser ship docking system that enables effective, secure control and upholds the same technical standards as the most important ports across the globe. The port moves over 8.4 million tons of cargo a year. The liquid granary (petroleum by-products, chemical products, ethanol, vegetable oils, etc.) constitutes more than 80% of the movement. The port can serve ships of up to 170,000 tpb and operational draft of 14.50 m. With 27 km² of backport, the internal and external ports offer the necessary conditions for serving large ships. The access canal has 5,000 m of extension, 300 m in width and 16.5 m in length. More than 95 Companies from almost all Industries are already installed in Suape which includes a Petrobras Refinary, the largest Ship Builder in South American and a large Petrochemical Company as many others.
Tancredo Neves Metro Station.
Port of Recife, is located in the city of Recife. Road access to Port of Recife is accomplished, mainly, through the federal highways BR-232 (linking the interior of the state) and BR-101 (linking to other States to the north and the south of the State of Pernambuco). The main producing and consuming centers of the interior of the state and of the rest of the Northeast, are linked to Port by paved highways. Three trunks of the Railways of Companhia Ferroviária do Nordeste (CFN), Northeastern Railway Company, serve the main areas of production in the state, tying the Port of Recife respectively: to the capitals of the states placed to the north of Pernambuco (north log); to the cities of the interior of the State (log west); and to the cities of Maceiómarker and Aracajumarker (south log).

There are two access channels to the Port, both of natural characteristics. The main one, South Channel, has 260 m of width and 3.4 km (2.11 mi) of extension approximately, with a depth of 10.5 m. The other, denominated North Channel, has little width, about 1.00 km (0.6 mi) of length, and a depth of 6.5 m, and it is used only by small size vessels. The International Airport of Guararapes is 14 km (8.6 mi) away from the Port.


Since 1998, building of the Metro expansion has been in progress. When ready, Recife Metro will become the second largest in Brazilmarker,after São Paulomarker. It already reaches from Recife central station to Jaboatão, Timbi (Camaragibe) and Mall (Shopping Recife).

This system also integrates with several bus lines connected to the bus/metro integration terminals, such as Barro and Joana Bezerra stations. It is possible to ride the metro and the connected bus line by purchasing one ticket only. Since March of 2009, Recife Metro has finished one more phase of expansion. The system now has 28 stations (11 integrated with buses) and is 39.5 kilometers long.


According to Detran-PE (Transportation State Bureau Administrator) in 2009, the city of Recife has a total fleet of over 464 thousand motor vehicles on its streets. 54,335 cargo vehicles, 318,520 passenger vehicles, 72,719 motorbikes, 14,142 others and 4,855 buses (split between private and public). These buses transport almost two million passengers daily in the metropolitan area, distributed between 17 local bus companies.


Transport Map of Recife.
Recife metropolitan area is crossed by 3 main Federal highways:

  • Numerous state highways (PE-xxx): 001/007/009/015/020/022/027/028/035/037/038/041/042/045/060/096.


Marco Zero in the city.
The city has 6 Regions Political Administrative RPA, which contains all 94 neighborhoods:

  • Aflitos , Afogados , Água Fria,
  • Alto do Mandu , Alto José Bonifácio,
  • Alto José do Pinho , Alto Santa Terezinha,
  • Apipucos , Areias , Arruda , Barro,
  • Beberibe , Boa Viagem , Boa Vista,
  • Bomba do Hemetério , Bongi ,
  • Brasília Teimosa ,Brejo da Guabiraba ,
  • Brejo de Beberibe ,Cabanga ,Caçote ,
  • Cajueiro , Campina do Barreto ,
  • Campo Grande , Casa Amarela ,
  • Casa Forte ,Caxangá,Cidade Universitária ,
  • Coelhos , Coqueiral , Cordeiro ,
  • Córrego do Jenipapo ,Curado , Derby ,
  • Dois Irmãos ,Dois Unidos ,Encruzilhada ,
  • Engenho do Meio ,Espinheiro ,Estância ,
  • Fundão , Graças , Guabiraba ,
  • Hipódromo ,Ibura ,Ibura de Cima (Cohab),
  • Ilha do Leite , Ilha do Retiro ,
  • Ilha Joana Bezerra ,Imbiribeira ,Ipsep ,
  • Iputinga , Jaqueira , Jardim São Paulo ,
  • Jiquiá , Jordão , Jordão Baixo ,
  • Linha do Tiro ,Macaxeira , Madalena ,
  • Mangabeira , Mangueira , Monteiro ,
  • Morro da Conceição , Mustardinha ,
  • Nova Descoberta , Passarinho ,
  • Paissandu , Parnamirim , Pau Ferro ,
  • Peixinhos , Pina , Poço ,
  • Ponto de Parada , Porto da Madeira ,
  • Prado , Bairro do Recife (Recife Antigo) ,
  • Rosarinho , San Martin , Sancho ,
  • Santana , Santo Amaro , Santo Antônio ,
  • São José , Sítio dos Pintos ,
  • Soledade , Tamarineira , Tejipió ,
  • Torre , Torreão , Torrões ,
  • Totó , Várzea ,
  • Vasco da Gama , Zumbi .


Soccer in Pernambuco began in 1902, when Englishmarker and Dutch sailors landed in Recife and played a game of soccer on the beach. The new game aroused the interest of the people of Pernambuco, and they soon started playing.

Recife provides visitors and residents with various sporting activities. There are several soccer clubs based in Recife, such as Sport (38 times state champion and once national champion(87) and Brazil's Cup champion (08)), Santa Cruz FC (24 times state champion), and Náutico (22 times state champion). The Campeonato Pernambucano (Pernambuco's State Championship) is divided into Taça Tabocas e Guararapes and Taça Confederação do Equador. They both have the same format: standard round-robin, in which all teams play each other once. A round-robin tournament or all-play-all tournament is a type of group tournament in which each participant plays every other participant an equal number of times. If a team wins both Taça Tabocas e Guararapes and Taça Confederação do Equador, it is crowned the state champion. If not, a home-and-away playoff with the winners is disputed, and the winner is declared the state champion.

Also, the city has traditions in another sports as:Basketball, Hockey, Golf, Tenis, Table tenis, Volleyball, beach volley, Handball, Surf, Bodysurf, Swimning pool and Futsal.Provided by clubs such as:Nautico, Sport, Santa Cruz, Portuguese Club of Recife, Caxanga Golf & Country Club, Mauricio de Nassau University, School of Tenis Recife as others.

2014 FIFA World Cup

Recife is one of the 12 cities to host games for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for which Brazilmarker is the host nation. The other 11 cities are:

The Metropolitan Recife project consists of a new Sports City to be built in São Lourenço da Matamarker in an intersection area near to Recife, Jaboatão dos Guararapesmarker and Camaragibemarker. The new Sports complex is 19 km (11 mi) west of Recife city center and 19 km (11 mi) from the Airport.The sports complex 'City' will have a new Stadium with 45,000 seats, 9,000 Flats, 6,000 car parking spaces, 1 Hospital, 1 Technical school, 1 Shopping center, 1 integrated metro/bus station and improvement of federal roads: all with an estimated cost of R$ 1.6 billion. Further expenses will be necessary in the metro area for remodelling of roads and airport expansion.

This is the second time Recife has been chosen to be one of the host cities of the FIFA World Cup. In 1950, Recife hosted just one game in the Brazil World Cup between Chilemarker and the United Statesmarker (5x2). At this time, it was the only city which represented the Northeast of Brazilmarker.

Social exclusion

Marco Zero in Old Recife.
View of the city.
Recife's reputation for safety is not one of the best of the country which placed the city as 9th most violent city in Brazilmarker, and 2nd as capital, after only Maceiómarker. As one of the largest Recife metropolitan area (5th) of the country with large urban concentrations of unskilled people in the peripheral suburbs. Which combined with high unemployment rates, social exclusion, and poverty, generates violence.

PESP plan

The State Governor Eduardo Campos introduced the PESP plan (Security state Plan - Plano Estadual de Seguranca Publica) on second of May 2009, which will try to reduce homicides by 12% each year until they reach half of the previous rate. The plan is based on the fact that 60% of the murders are committed by people related to criminal activities and reaches from the prevention stage until the correctional stage.

Carnival Security plan

Considered to be the world's largest Carnival celebration, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, Recife, and neighboring Olinda are at the heart of over than 1.5 million person strong celebration. ISS servers managed 50 Pelco Spectra PTZ cameras to capture all activity within the city's celebratory areas. Continued deployment of this project at Recife, will continue towards a short term goal of over 1000 cameras blanketing the city. Immediate statistics during the Carnival period indicate a reduction in violent crime of over 30%.

The system remains fully operational and will be the vanguard of an ever-growing surveillance framework implemented by the forward-thinking government of Recife. ISS servers also manage security and surveillance throughout Brazilmarker, including the national presidential compound, the Palácio da Alvoradamarker in Brasíliamarker, as well as several of the largest ports in the country, including the 2nd largest port, Terminal Portuário de Itajaí Ltda, in Itajaímarker, Santa Catarinamarker. Governor Eduardo Campos was on hand to celebrate the inauguration of this milestone event in the city's move toward greater security and safety. Logistics for the project were handled by Anixter International, a U.S. company. Integration was conducted by Aragão Engenharia & Networks.

Sex tourism
Recife in the evening.
There has been a growing number of foreign tourists who come to Brazil looking for sex, mostly Germans, Italians, and other Europeans. These tourists come to Recife not for the culture and beaches, but for sex, often with minors. Brazil has a supply of young girls desperate to escape poverty, and the demand from foreign men is rising all the time. In Recife, where a growing population of children sleep on park benches or fall drugged or drunk on the curbs outside bars catering to a brisk trade in sex tourism, many girls who live on the streets have begun slashing themselves with razor blades, often on their forearms. Recife's secretary for tourism, Romeo Batista, says the long-term antidote to the sex trade lies in better social policies so that Brazilian girls have less need for foreign men and money. Several countries worldwide have their own legislation that prosecutes tourists in their homeland if they engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with children.

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 enables British citizens and residents who commit sexual offences against children overseas to be prosecuted in the United Kingdom.Germany works with a similar law since 1993.Complaints concerning foreigners who are suspected of committing child sex tourism offences should be directed to the nearest consulate or embassy.

Recuperation program

UNICEF is an international development agency, which supports locally initiated projects with an emphasis on children. Recife offered an environment to utilize its rich cultural heritage to develop programs aimed at its most serious issues. One of the most hands-on projects was a radio program named "Jovens Comunicadores" (Communicating Youth). It trained a group of eighteen adolescents to produce a weekly radio program focusing on child labour. The program is recorded and sent to community radio stations, most of which are broadcast in the sugar cane area where many children work. Jovens Comunicadores advocates and lobbies against exploitation, all produced and edited by teens. As a radio program, it also plays regional music, giving a boost to local culture.

"Criança Feliz" (Happy Child) had the same objective, eliminating child exploitation, but used a different approach. It was begun by a women's organization and offered after-school activities with the goal of discouraging children and adolescents from working in sex tourism. Besides giving classes and training in computers, English, art, and karate, it also offered psychological services and group therapy. These combined services sought to equip children not only with skills but also a positive self image and respect to not fall into prostitution. As all the kids came from very poor backgrounds, the financial pull of prostitution is very high. Criança Feliz worked at educating them about the high costs in the long term. This was a very interesting project, since it was actually a house with groups of kids divided into participating in different activities.

Shark attacks

In recent years, the number of shark attacks on the beaches of Recife has increased. This was addressed on the National Geographic Channel series Hunter Hunted in the episode "Shark Invasion." Surfing has been outlawed since 1995 on the urban beaches (Pina, Boa Viagem, Piedade, and Candeias) because of the risk the sport poses to its practitioners due to shark attacks. It's strongly recommended you do not climb over and swim behind the reefs because of strong, unpredictable currents and the possible presence of bull sharks. Several beaches have messages alerting people of the danger of finding sharks, although this is very rare as in most parts of Brazilmarker.

Before the 1990s, there were virtually no attacks reported here. But since 1992, there have been 47 shark attacks along a 20-km (12.5-mile) stretch of coast. Sixteen of them were fatal. In 2004, there were seven reported attacks. Two of the victims died. However, in absolute term, there are more shark attacks in the U.S.marker State of Floridamarker and Australia than in Brazil. Since mid-1992, 50 encounters involving humans and sharks, 19 of them fatal, have been recorded along the short strip of coast. By comparison, a relatively modest 18 unprovoked shark attacks were reported along the 1,926 kilometers (1,197 miles) of Florida coast in 2005, according to the International Shark Attack File compiled by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural Historymarker. At the same rate per kilometer per year as Recife, Floridamarker would suffer nearly 350 attacks a year.
A state-funded investigation has focused on the long-term ecological effect of a new port, to the south of Recife. Port of Suape opened for business in 1984, and today handles more than four million tonnes of cargo per year. To facilitate its initial construction, two freshwater estuaries, which had discharged into the Atlantic Oceanmarker, were sealed off. Based on that finding, local human rights lawyers are considering a symbolic legal challenge to the State of Pernambuco, with the aim of securing compensation for the victims of attacks.

Via CEMIT, Pernambuco state officials have attempted to reduce the risk of shark attacks through educational campaign, oversight and research. A CEMIT patrol boat has captured 14 sharks found too close to the coast for comfort over two years. Other public policies include the posting of warning signs every 350 meters (1,150 feet) along the beach and the prohibition of surfing in threatened areas.Nevertheless, when the beach has low waves, natives and tourists protected by the natural reefs do go swimming.

Human development

Recife on the far end.
The human development of Recife varies greatly by locality, reflecting the city's spatial segregation and vast socioeconomic inequalities. There are neighborhoods that had very high Human Development Indexes in 2000 (equal to or greater than the indexes of some Scandinavian countries), but also those in the lower range (in line with, for example, North Africa).

Neighborhoods and localities champions:

  • Boa Viagem/Pina (0.964) - (Greater than - 0.961)
  • Graças/Aflitos (0.953) - (Equal to , - 0.953)
  • Derby/Espinheiro (0.953) - (Equal to , - 0.953)

Neighborhoods and localities in last place:

  • Joana Bezerra Island/São José/Zeis Coque (0.689) - (Equal to - 0.689)

Notable people

Sister cities

Recife's sister cities are:


External links






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