Pernambuco              Northeast Region

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View of Recife

The capital of the state of Pernambuco started its existence at the mouth of the Capibaribe and Beberibe rivers in 1548 as a fishing settlement, but it soon grew and became the seat of government during the period when the Dutch occupied the North East region of Brazil.It is known as the "Venice of Brazil" on account of its bridges, canals and rivers - in the center of the city alone there are 39 bridges crossing more than 50 canals. The capital of Pernambuco is a mixture of past and present.  Hidden behind a wall of modern buildings lies the Patio de São Pedro, comprising colonial houses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries around the cathedral of São Pedro. The old prison has been converted into a popular culture center, with shops selling fabrics, carpets, items of rope and straw, embroidery and pottery.

Recife is also the Frevo capital of Brazil. During Carnival, the Galo da Madrugada group of dancers opens the proceedings and brings over a million people onto the streets - the group has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest Carnival group in the world. In the capital of Pernambuco, art and culture permeate life and are reflected in the colonial architecture of the houses, churches and old forts. In the Museum of Man of the North East, an important collection takes the visitor back to the past, to the height of the sugar era and to the best of Pernambucan popular art. On the banks of the Capibaribe river, 16 kilometers from Recife, is the workshop and museum of the artist Francisco Brennand, in an old sugar mill which he has renovated. The museum is also called the "Cathedral of Art", and 2,000 works by the artist are on show there.


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