South America

Recife Forts: Fort do Brum, Fort das Cinco Pontas

The entrance gate of Forte do Brum, Recife. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. FORTE DO BRUM One of the most important remains of the Dutch rule in northeast Brazil is the Forte do Brum (Fort de Bruyne), on the northern end of Recife island. The fort was originally started to built in 1629 by the Portuguese, when the Dutch took control of Pernambuco ...

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Recife: the capital of sugar cane of Colonial Brazil

Watercolour chart of the city of Recife (Brazil) in the 17th century (1665). Author Johannes Vingboons

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Recife is now the capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. Until the 17th century the city was a small village near the capital of the Capitania of Pernambuco, Olinda. In 1630 with the Dutch conquest of northeastern Brazil, Olinda was burned by the Dutch, just because it was considered ...

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Governors and Viceroys of Portuguese Brazil, 1549-1760

Map of Brazil in the Miller Atlas of 1519

Written by Marco Ramerini.  Brazil was discovered, almost by accident in 1500 by a Portuguese expedition live in the East under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Cabral ‘s expedition followed the sea route to India traveled recently by Vasco da Gama, sailing around Africa. The expedition – to avoid the equatorial calms – followed a route far from the African coast ...

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Fort Orange (Oranje), Itamaracá: a Dutch fortress in Brazil

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. Fort Orange is situated 60 km north of Recife (Pernambuco). In this area the Portuguese founded a trading factory (feitoria) in 1516. On 1 September 1534 the King of Portugal created the “capitania” of Itamaracá. It was given to the donatarian Pero Lopez de Sousa. This “capitania” extended over 30 ...

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Olinda: a UNESCO World Heritage site in Brazil

Convento de São Francisco, Olinda, Pernambuco, Brasil. Autor e Copyright Marco Ramerini

Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster. The city of Olinda, which is located a few kilometers north of Recife, was founded by the Portuguese in 1535 and was one of the first settlements founded by Europeans in Brazil. At the beginning of the 17th century the city became the capital of the capitania of Pernambuco, but ...

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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

Recife and Olinda (1665). Author Johannes Vingboons

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

French map of Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro) in 1555, by Duval

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

Portrait of Hendrik Brouwer. Author Anonymous

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

Map of Colonia del Sacramento done by Tomás López in 1777

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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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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