Another day trip endevour, getting to explore our surroundings, and offering our family an opportunity to have fun, enjoy quality time together, and learn more about the local history, geography and social arts.
A bit of historical background, first, bringing everyone to the same page: 😮
“The Fort of Santa Cruz de Itamaracá, popularly known as Fort Orange (“Forte Orange” due to the Dutch Colonization of the Pernambuco territory), located on Itamaracá Island (the word “Itamaraca” means rock that sings, in Tupi-Guarany native language) on the north coast of the state of Pernambuco in Brazil.
In the context of the second Dutch invasions in Brazil, it was originally a small island (now lost) in front of the tip of the Southeast Itamaracá Island, where the bar dominated the southern channel of Santa Cruz.
It was started from May 1631 as a fortification campaign by Dutch forces (Barretto, 1958:133), under the command of Steyn Callenfels and received the name Fort Orange, in homage to the House of Orange-Nassau, which then ruled the Netherlands.
It was garrisoned by a detachment of 366 men under the command of the Polish Captain Crestofle d’Artischau Arciszewski. This effectively resisted the Portuguese forces commanded by Conde of Bagnoli, who defeated (1632), withdrew abandoning its artillery: four pieces of brass brought from Arraial Velho do Bom Jesus. This position formed the basis for the conquest of the island of Itamaracá, defended by the forces of Salvador Pinheiro. After this achievement (1633), the fort was repaired and expanded.
In this structure, Maurice of Nassau reported:
- “(…) Inside the bar [of the island of Itamaracá] presents the first strong Orange, situated on a low sand separated from the mainland by a creek, which is fordable low-water mark. This fort dominates the harbor entrance, since such vessels entering have to pass before him the shot gun. It is square with four bastions [the vertices], and lately has been raised and repaired, but almost no gaps, or stockade or palisade, which is necessary to make, and should widen the gap and surround the outside with a counter-scarp.(Nassau, Maurice of.’Short Address. January 14 in 1638.)“