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Derby (Neighbourhood, Recife)

The neighbourhood had its origin in 1888. It was known as Estância (Estate), a reference to the estate of Henrique Dias (17th Century).

Derby (Neighbourhood, Recife)

Article available in: PT-BR

Last update: 05/09/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The neighbourhood had its origin in 1888. It was known as Estância (Estate), a reference to the estate of Henrique Dias (17th Century).

A horse racing track with a grandstand was built inthevicinity by the Derby Club Equestrian Society, which lentits name as an inheritance to one of the most aristocratic neighbourhoods of Recife between the 1920s and 1960s.

Recife people enjoyed horseback riding and used the area as a place of rest and fun, dating, business and even politics.

At the time, Recife had three race tracks: the Hipódromo(Hippodrome), Madalena and Derby. When the horse-riding craze faded and the Derby racing track was abandoned, it was bought by Colonel Delmiro Gouveia and transformed into the Mercado Modelo Coelho Cintra(Coelho Cintra Model Market), through an agreement with the City Council.

In 1900, the market was destroyed by a fire started by the police to politically persecute Delmiro Gouveia. After a reform in 1924, the eclectic and impressive Renaissance-style building became the headquarters of the Pernambuco Military Police.

During the Sergio Loreto government in 1924, many land fillings were conducted inthe Derby field,along with the drainage of the channel where today Agamenon Magalhães Avenue is situated.

Derby Park, designed by Roberto Burle Marx, was built between 1924 and 1926. For a long time, a sea cow lived in one of its tanks, to the delight of children. Several mansions were built around the Park where Recife’s aristocracy used to live. Today, some of these mansions hostvarious clinics and physicians’ offices.

Another building that makes up the landscape of the neighbourhood and made it even more well-known is the Hospital da Restauração (Restoration Hospital), owned by the Government of Pernambuco, and which is the main centre for emergencies in Recife and other municipalities in the State.


Recife, 22 july 2003.
(Updated on 24 august 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.

sources consulted

BARRETO, Ângela Maria Maranhão. O Recife através dos tempos: formação da sua paisagem. Recife: Fundarpe, 1994.

DERBY. Jornal do Commercio, Recife, 13 fev. 2000. Caderno Cidades, p. 7.

MOREIRA, Fernando Diniz. A construção de uma cidade moderna: Recife (1909-1925). 1994. Dissertação (Mestrado em Desenvolvimento Urbano) - Centro de Artes e Comunicação, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, 1994.

SETTE, Mário. Maxambombas e maracatus. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981. p. 217.

how to quote this text

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