«Fernando de Noronha
«History and Archaeology
In spite of having been discovered in 1503 and donated as a Hereditary plot in 1504, the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago remained forsaken for over two centuries, receiving temporary navigators from different nationalities.
In the 17th century the Dutch stayed there for 25 years. Today, however, the only remains of the Dutch period are a part of the Remédios Fort walls (where they have built a redoubt in 1629) and the areas of agricultural experimentations.
Old buildings tell
the History of the island
The reports of the Dutch period mention "storehouses", "residences", "good marts", "farmyard", "vegetable gardens", a small "Calvinistic Congregation" among other constructive evidences of a long occupation. Also the "Elizabeth Gardens", where other cultures were experimented, mainly the indigo plant.
The place of this Dutch "Village" is the very same place where the REMÉDIOS VILLAGE was built in the following century, after the definitive occupation by Portugal through the Pernambuco Land Division (the name in Portuguese is Vila dos Remédios, and means Village of Remedies).
The strategic advantages of this place were evident: near a water stream called Mulungu Brook and other fountains; easy access to the Cachorro Creek, which could be used as anchoring place; a drinkable water source transformed later in the Cachorro Fountain; the direct access to the new fort (Remédios). All this was supposed to be the ideal place for the construction of the main Village.
The urbanistic design of the Remédios Village, with its planned structure, consisted of two yards (two space units). In the upper space there was the Administration, the civil power, and in the lower space, the church, the religious power. The whole area was covered with stones and the buildings were always of big size. It should be pointed out that one of the main functions of the Village in its origin was to support the prison also established at that time. Strategically the village should not be seen from the sea.
Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
The REMÉDIOS VILLAGE rose as the main urban nucleus of the island. From XVIII century on there operated the administration with its public buildings, the prison lodgings and the workshops for the prisoners, the church, the command square, the living houses, the storehouse, the school, the hospital and the warehouses for stocking the agricultural production and commodities sent from the mainland.
The village was also the starting point of the stone covered streets, using the "cabeça de nego" system, and having always in mind the need of draining the rainwater and the soil conservation, which was carefully observed in the streets and yards.
During over two hundred years this nucleus was used and maintained in its original structure with only small changes and inclusions. In 1938, as the archipelago returned to the Union, the village was in a good shape under the architectonic point of view.
Other interferences and transformations were made in 1942, after the occupation during World War II. A part of the old urbanistic appearance was then lost and the influence of the prefabricated buildings arose, due to their practicability in emergency times, thus becoming a technological reference.
In Portuguese: Leia mais sobre as principais cidades nas proximidades de Noronha:
João Pessoa |
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