Author Archives: Marco Ramerini

Igarassu: the oldest Church of Brazil

Church of São Cosme e Damião (1535), Igarassu, Pernambuco, Brazil. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Igarassu (Igaraçu) is a beautiful little village situated 30 km north of Recife. In 1535 the Portuguese Duarte Coelho landed on this place to occupy his captaincy, donated by the Portuguese Crown. Duarte Coelho installed a stone mark, functioning as a dividing spot between the captaincies of Pernambuco and Itamaracá. This ...

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Paraty a Colonial Town in the state of Rio de Janeiro

A street of Paraty, Brazil. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The main attraction of Paraty is its historic center with beautifully preserved colonial architecture. It is a day trip from the city of Rio de Janeiro. The distance is 240 km and it takes 4 hours to reach Paraty with a car along the beautiful coast of the Costa Verde, ...

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The Dutch in Brazil

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. THE AMAZON SETTLEMENTS In 1600, according to Ioannes De Laet, the Dutch possessed two wooden forts (Fort Nassau and Fort Oranje) on the eastern shore of the Xingu River. These had been built by colonists from Zeeland. In 1616, a Zeeland expedition under the command of Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita sailed ...

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The French in Brazil: Saint-Alexis, France Antarctique (Rio de Janeiro), Ipiapaba and Sao Luís do Maranhão

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The French ports of Normandy, especially Rouen and Dieppe, had a flourishing textile industry and thus became the principal competitors in trade for Portugal in Brazil in the 16th century. Due to the presence of vast forests of “Pau Brasil” on the Brazilian coast (used in the process of cloth ...

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Dutch in Chile: Hendrick Brouwer’s expedition to Valdivia

Written by Robbert Kock. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Since the Spaniards arrived in Chile in 1535, Valdivia was one of the first cities, which the Spanish colonists founded. The city, founded in 1552, was named after the Spanish explorer Pedro de Valdivia. He became the first governor of Chile from 1541 till 1553. The main reason for the ...

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New Sweden: The Swedish settlements in North America

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The King of Sweden as early as 1624, encouraged by Willem Usselinx, was planning an expedition to North America, but the Thirty Years’ War stopped his plans. In 1632 the Walloon, a former Governor of Dutch New Netherland, Peter Minuit offered his services to Sweden. He planned to establish a ...

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Dutch New York: The Dutch settlements in North America

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The 17th century Dutch colony of Nieuw-Nederland was situated between the South River (Delaware River) and the Fresh River (Connecticut River) with his center on the North or Great River (Hudson River) practically in the present US States of New York, Delaware, Connecticut and New Jersey. The Dutch connection with ...

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Colonia del Sacramento: a Portuguese Fortress on the River Plate (Río de la Plata)

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos: by Pedro Gonçalves. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. In 1680 the Portuguese founded along the northern bank of the River Plate (Río de la Plata/Rio da Prata) opposite Buenos Aires the fortress of Colónia do Sacramento (today Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay). The city was of strategic importance in resisting to the Spanish. Spaniards conquered ...

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Dutch and Courlanders on Tobago. A history of the first settlements 1628-1677

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. This beautiful and rugged island of the Caribbean (with an area of about 300 square kilometres) lies in front of the delta of the Orinoco River. Its position is a rather strategic one. Indeed, from here one can dominate the coasts of Venezuela as well as that of Guyana and ...

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The Jesuit Missions in South America: Jesuits Reductions in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil

San Ignacio Miní, Misiones, Argentina. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck The Indios Guaraní of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil would have been another indigenous people victim of the colonial conquest in South America, if the Jesuits would haven’t been able to persuade the King of Spain to grant that vast region to their care. The Jesuits promised to the King ...

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The Russians in America: Alaska and California

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The Russian explorers reached the Pacific through Siberia in 1639. The Tsar sent later two expeditions in 1728 and 1741 under the command of Vitus Bering and Alexei Chorikov. They discovered the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. A profitable fur trade was established, Russian temporary settlements in the Aleutians and on ...

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Kilwa: a Portuguese Fort in Tanzania

Portuguese Fort, Kilwa, Tanzania. Author and Copyright Alan Sutton

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos by Alan Sutton Situated along the coast of Tanzania, Kilwa fort was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and was the first stone fort built by the Portuguese along the coast of East Africa. The construction of the fort was the work of the sailors and soldiers of the squadron of D. Francisco de Almeida, ...

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