"R E C I F E - O L I N D A" Recife by schurlif
Recife Travel Guide: 140 reviews and 344 photos
When Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvarez Cabral made a big "curve" to the west , then south and then planned to go east to bypass Africa rapidly on his way to Asia....... he discovered Brazil , at Easter of the year 1500.....
Supposedly allready then there were a few Novos Cristões on the ship , Jews that had been forced to accept Catholicism in order to survive..... It took some time untill Recife was founded but around 1630 the Dutch invaded Pernambuco and took over Recife. With the Dutch arrived orthodox Jews who built around that year ( 1630) the first synagogue of the Americas , Kahal Zur Israel . Here's a picture of the street in old colonial Recife where it was located. This picture is from my first trip , some 10 years ago , when they had not yet rediscovered the synagogue , but on the synagogues arquitecture site it says it was rediscovered and totally refurbished and put into its original condition in 2001. The Dutch were expelled in 1654 and the Jews moved on , for fear of the inquisition , to what was called then New Amsterdam , today NYC..... If you're interested in the architectural plants and pictures of the newly renovated synagogue look at http://www.arcoweb.com.br/arquitetura/arquitetura316.asp
This picture , I have to admit , is a scanned post card , but how could I have taken a picture like this from the air...? You can see parts of the reef after which Recife ( = reef ) was named... This is the top Recife beach with all 4 and 5 star hotels and the action.....Almost unbelievable how the big Northeastern capitals are fresh looking , modern and rich cities , given the fact that Brazils Northeast is considered economically poor and way back in its infrastructure. Way , way in the background you have a glimpse of Olinda , the sister city of Recife, just north of the river , can you see it...?
Just like in Salvador and Penedo / Alagoas , Olinda has an array of 16th and 17th centuries built churches , except here , they seem to be swallowed by the lush tropical flora... Olindas historical , architectural and colonial district is well worth a visit. We , the group , stayed at a pousada ( = inn ) that was partially built into some rocks on top of the hill overlooking historical Olinda.
Observe on the picture the reef on the left.....
- Pros:Clean , modern , bristling
- Cons:Combination Recife/Olinda not as exciting as Salvador/Maceio
- In a nutshell:Twin cities , modern and historical....
This actually belongs under "WARNING AND DANGER" tips but there's not enough space there to tell the whole story and... more travel advice
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