Lat: -8.589304000281500, Long: -35.115254986968000


Pernambuco, Brazil

Historical Background and Urbanism

The place where Serinhaém is located – a name derived from “cirinhaem”, which in the Tupi-guarani language means basin or bed of crabs – is the site of one of the first urban settlements in Pernambuco. The region was colonised around 1614, when the residents built a chapel dedicated to Saint Rock. As a result, an urban nucleus began to emerge and the land was parcelled out through grants into large areas where sugar plantations were established. In 1627, when the settlement, which offered optimal conditions, was raised to the status of a town it had approximately 500 inhabitants and became known as Vila Formosa de Sirinhaém. In 1632, the Dutch began to attack the town, attracted by the economic potential of the 18 sugar plantations located in the region. It was only in 1645 that Vila Formosa returned to Portuguese control, during the Restoration Campaign. The town became a municipality in 1892, when it gained political independence. Buildings from that distant past still survive in the area, which remains the principal access route into the city: the Chapel of Saint Rock, the Convent of Saint Antony with its Church of Saint Francis, both founded in 1630, and the Chapel of Saint Amaro, built in the late 18th century. The convent was classified as a monument by IPHAN in 1940.

Religious Architecture