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Caxangá (Neighbourhood, Recife)

The neighbourhood of Caxangá originally was a settlement founded by Canon Francisco Pereira Lopes at the end of the 18th Century.

Caxangá (Neighbourhood, Recife)

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Last update: 05/02/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The neighbourhood of Caxangá originally was a settlement founded by Canon Francisco Pereira Lopes at the end of the 18th Century.

Born in Pernambuco (1755-1833), ‘Cônego(Canon) Caxangá’, as he was called for being the owner of the lands that bore this name, built a nice house to live in and a chapel dedicated to St Francisco de Paulaon the site.

The land, however, had been cultivated since the mid-17th Century, when it operated near the BrumPlantation, founded by Miguel BezerraMonteiro, member of a traditional Pernambuco family.

It is not known where the name Caxangá comes from. Some authors claim that it is a corruption of the Tupi word caa-çan-áb, which means ‘broad forest’, or caa-çang-guá, ‘enlarged valley forest’, or evenaindacaa-ciangá, ‘stepmother’s or godmother’s forest’.

It is situated on the margins of the Capibaribe River, next to the neighbourhood of Várzea,approximately eleven kilometres from Recife’s city centre.
In 1833, the settlement was considered one of the most beautiful and pleasant areas in the city.

Cleansed by a river with clear water, a pleasant climate and extremely fertile land, it developed rapidly, becoming one of Recife society’s most preferred places for swimming in the river and summering.

It also had a mineral water spring on the right riverbankthat was greatly sought after for its medicinal properties.

With the conclusion of the first stretch of the PaudalhoRd in 1843 (today corresponding to Caxangá Ave),which started in Madalenaand ended at the settlement, the journey to the settlement could be made in an hour. Previously, it had only been possible to get there on horseback and, due to the bad condition of the routes, it would take around two hours to make the same journey.

Caxangá Stationwas the terminal of one of the most important urban train lines known as Maxambomba(machine pump), which belonged to the Companhia de TrilhosUrbanos do Recife, Olinda e Beberibe (Urban Track Company of Recife, Olinda and Beberibe), a company for whom businessman DelmiroGouveia worked for a period.

The construction of the Caxangásuspension bridge, built by Louis-Léger Vauthierduring the administration of the Countof Boa Vistaand linking Recife to the Northern Forest zone, was a fundamental project for the location’s development and progress.

Located next to the railway station in 1883 was theHotel Francês de Caxangá (French Hotel of Caxangá), which offered grand and pleasant rooms, lunch, dinner and supper, as well as special bathing rooms for swimming in the river.

In October 1928, an English country club was founded in the neighbourhood: The Pernambuco Golf Club,which became the CaxangáGolf Country Club in 1944,built on the site of an old rural property with a golf course and a racetrack that was named after Count Mauriceof Nassau.

Today, despite progress, the Caxangáneighbourhood continues to be an agreeable place with a lot of vegetation and a pleasant climate.

Recife, 22 october 2004.
(updated on 25 august 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.

sources consulted

CAVALCANTI, Carlos Bezerra. O Recife e seus bairros. Recife: Câmara Municipal, 1998. p. 146-148.

COSTA, Francisco Augusto Pereira da. Anais pernambucanos. 2. ed. Recife: Fundarpe, Diretoria de Assuntos Culturais, 1983. v. 9, p. 507-511. (Coleção pernambucana, 2a. fase).

GALVÃO, Sebastião de Vasconcellos. Diccionario chorographico, histórico e estatístico de Pernambuco. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1908.


how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Caxangá (Neighbourhood, Recife). Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009