Snapshots from Fort Orange (Dutch Brazil), on Itamaraca Island.

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: ūüėģ

“The Fort of Santa Cruz de Itamarac√°, popularly known as Fort Orange (“Forte Orange” due to the Dutch Colonization of the Pernambuco territory), located on Itamarac√° 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 Itamarac√° 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 Itamarac√°, defended by the forces of Salvador Pinheiro. After this achievement (1633), the fort was repaired and expanded.

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: ūüėģ

“The¬†Fort of Santa Cruz de Itamarac√°, popularly known as¬†Fort Orange (“Forte Orange” due to the Dutch Colonization of the Pernambuco territory), located on¬†Itamarac√° 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 Itamarac√°, 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 Itamarac√°] 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.)

Touring the city of Igarassu, home of Brazil’s oldest church (circa 1535).

Igarassu is one of Brazil’s oldest settlements, located in the island of Itamaraca (“rock that sings”¬†in Tupi-Guarany language)¬†and is full of rich cultural heritage, including the oldest church in Brazil, which dates back to 1535.

The Itamaraca Island is connected to the continent by a bridge, and a short trip there will take you to an enchanting paradise of warm, calm ocean waters and coconut tree forests. One of the singular beauties of the island was already featured here, when our family took a boat trip into the mangrove scenario…

The Lima-Miranda family is curious and adventurous: in one single day, we visited the city of Igarassu, and its famous church, the original Dutch Fort (“Fort Orange”), and had time and energy to spend through the intriguing branches of mangrove trees, covered with budding oysters and fresh water crabs! All this is described throughout the blog – if one’s got time and interest to search for! ūüėģ

Today, I’m sharing the images of the Church of Saints Cosme and Dami√£o, built in 1535, in the city of¬†Igarassu,¬†Pernambuco¬†is¬†Brazil’s oldest church (Roman Catholic):

The Manatee Project (Projeto Peixe-Boi), Itamaraca Island, Brazil

What we do if we’ve got a holiday/day off right in the middle of the week? We get out of the house, hauling the 3 kids around! This time, our family decided to take a day trip to a nearby island, named Itamaraca (“rock that sings” in Tupi-Guarany language – there’ll be a later post about it!)

The island of Itamaracá, located 40 km from Recife, is separated from the continent by the Jaguaribe River. It has calm beach waters, with coconut trees, natural swimming pools, reefs, sandbanks and a fort (originally built during the Dutch Colonization Period), Besides the cultural and historical features, its ecological reservations with native forests, the island shelters the Manatee Preservation Center.

The native name for the manatee is “peixe-boi“, an enormous creature that intrigues any curious souls – especially, our toddlers’ curious eyes and minds!

Centro de Preserva√ß√£o do Peixe-Boi” (Manatee Preservation Center) – is open for visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm, it is an excellent opportunity to see the manatee so closely, this exotic sea mammal..

 

Photography: Exploring the mangrove biome on Itamaraca Island, Brazil.

Our family went on a day trip to the Itamaraca Island, located in northern coast of Pernambuco. There, we had the opportunity to go an boat expedition through the the mud flats (mangue) area. The name of the island, Itamaraca, comes from the Tupy-Guarany language, and means “rock that sings”. The tropical holiday Island of Itamarac√° is connected to the main land by a 400 meter long road bridge and is situated just 45 minute drive from the city of Recife and it‚Äôs international airport. It has an area of round 65 km¬≤ and rises to an altitude of about 20 meters.

The island was annexed for the Portuguese crown in 1526 by Francisco Garcia and in that year the first settler was Duarte Coelho from Portuguese Pernambuco. In 1631 the large fortification Forte Orange was built by the Dutch under Frederico Henrique de Orange, who at one time lived on Mauritius Island. In 1866 a lighthouse was erected on the island. Nature in abundance, cultural and historical sites are to be found on this island which is separated from the mainland by the “Canal de Santa Cruz”.

The “mangue” is a type of vegetation found in areas where the waters from the sea and from rivers are mixed, adapted to the high salinity and to the muddy soil – an unique experience to a biologist mom, a passionate photographer dad and, for our delighted and curious children… See below some of the images taken during the the “Miranda Family expedition” – hope you all enjoy them, as much as we have!

Our family went on a day trip to the¬†Itamaraca Island, located in¬†northern coast of Pernambuco. There, we had the opportunity to go an boat expedition through the¬†the¬†mud flats (mangue) area. The name of the island, Itamaraca, comes from the Tupi-Guarany language, and means “rock that sings“.¬†The tropical holiday¬†Island¬†of¬†Itamarac√°¬†is connected to the main land by a 400 meter long road bridge and is situated just 45-minute drive from the city of¬†Recife¬†and the international airport. It has an area of round 65 km¬≤ and rises to an altitude of about 20 meters.

The island was annexed for the Portuguese crown in 1526 by Francisco Garcia and in that year the first settler was Duarte Coelho from Portuguese Pernambuco. In 1631 the large fortification¬†Forte Orange¬†was built by the Dutch under Frederico Henrique de Orange, who at one time lived on Mauritius¬†Island. In 1866 a lighthouse was erected on the island.¬†Nature in abundance, cultural and historical sites are to be found on this island which is separated from the mainland by the “Canal de¬†Santa Cruz“.¬†The “mangue” or mangrove is a type of¬†vegetation found in areas where the waters from the sea and from rivers are mixed, adapted to the high salinity and to the muddy soil – an unique experience to a biologist mom, a passionate photographer dad and, our delighted and curious children… See below some of the images taken during the the “Miranda Family expedition” – hope you all enjoy them, as much as we have!

View from the island

Getting ready for some good shots

Entering the “mangue jungle”

oyster colonies growing along the tree branches
deeper into the 'mangue'
'aquatic jungle'
closer look at the populations of oysters and mangrove crabs
tree roots make the best shelter for mangrove crabs

Getting “stuck”… our boat got trapped!

nowhere to go... ūüėģ
We're stuck! Great opportunity for pictures!
intriguing roots and branches...
budding oysters all over the place!

Thrilled “explorers”

family back from 'manguetown'
lots of green on our way back to the island
a fantastic experience!
one happy explorer!
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