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Map of Recife and Olinda

Exploring Recife

Start your explorations in Old Recife, and find yourself winding through the streets and stumbling upon random squares, bridges, canals and churches that form the charm of this Latin Venice.

Many Churches close to visitors on Sundays for services.

Santo Antonio do Convento de Sao Francisco
Beautiful Portuguese tiles and jaconda encarvings line this early 17th century church, while the exquisite Capela Dourada (Golden Chapel) is right next door, with a completely gold-covered altar with a suspended Christ on a gold cross inside, and the small Scared Art museum holding several interesting pieces.

Sao Pedro dos Clerigos
Standing in the Sao Jose district, this church was built in 1782 and holds great wooden sculptures and has an astounding facade.

Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
This historic church was built on the ground of two significant battles that took place in 1648-49, which defeated and forced the Dutch to leave their 30-year occupation by 1954. It was built in 1656 by a Brazilian commandeer.

Divino Espirito Santo
Built in 1689, this was the original church of the Jesuits.

Things to Do
The Patio de Sao Pedro is the hangout "niche" of the artists and intellectuals of the region, with impromptu poetry recitations, folk music shows, and other goings on happening frequently. A charming place with colorful houses and good restaurants and a great atmosphere, it also offers great shopping opportunities for typical northeastern crafts. The city market is located in the Sao Jose and Santa Rita areas.

Praca do Sebo offers a little paradise for used-book shopper lovers.

The Casa da Cultura, which was originally the municipal prison, is now a cultural center in which many of the cells now hold art or souvenir shops as well as exhibition spaces. There is a permanent craft market here.

Three theaters, the Santa Isabel- built in 1850 and standing on the Praca Republica(a relaxed and pleasant public space), the Parque which is newly restored and very beautiful, and the slightly more modern Apolo theater provide great traditional plays and performances.

The Universal Brotherhood festival held from March 12-15 celebrates the foundation of the city. In April there is the Pro-Rock Festival that is a weeklong celebration of rock and roll, hip hop and manguebeat.

In June, the Festejos Juninos is a month long celebration of Santo Antonio (June 13) Sao Joao (June 24) and Sao Pedro and Sao Paulo (June 29) that has its roots in the Portuguese-colonial days, and mixes in African and Indian traditions with the Catholic ones.

October sees Recifolia, a similarity to Carnival for a weekend.

December 1-8 is the Festival of Lemanja, the Candomble goddess.

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