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Hospital Pedro II

It was the first hospital in the North or Northeast of Brazil to perform cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation.

Hospital Pedro II

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 20/02/2014

By: Virginia Barbosa - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The story of Hospital Pedro II begins in the period from 1802 to 1804, when Francisco de Souza Rego acquired two buildings on Nova St, in what was then called Vila do Recife, and in them founded the Hospital dos Pobres da Ribeira. Until 1820, the institution was directed by its founder and, from 1821 to 1827, by João do Rego Falcão.

Its name was changed three times until it became, as we know it today, Hospital Pedro II. On 1 October 1828 its name was Hospital São Pedro d’Alcântara. At the time that it and Hospital dos Lázaros were under only one administration. With its move to the buildings of the Hospital de Nossa Senhora do Paraíso e São João de Deus, on Pátio do Paraíso (today Dantas Barreto Ave.), in the Santo Antonio neighbourhood, it began to be called Grande Hospital. Without its own facilities, the hospital was moved twice: to the buildings of the defunct Hospital Militar which operated at the Convento do Carmo (1st July 1833) and later to a building leased in the area known as Coelhos, which was administrated by the Santa Casa de Misericórdia (1846).

Right next door to that leased building, on 25 March 1847, was laid the cornerstone of Hospital Pedro II, in compliance with the General Law of 13 October 1831, and Provincial Law nº 165, on 17 November 1846. Its architectural design was by the engineer José Mamede Alves Ferreira, who also designed the Ginásio Pernambucano, the Casa de Detenção (Detention House – today known as Casa da Cultura) and the Santo Amaro Cemetery. The building, despite only partially constructed (1859), was the site of a ball thrown by the Pernambuco Commercial Association in honour of Emperor D. Pedro II, who was visiting Recife. This event contributed to the Brazilian ruler liberating financial resources for health care in the Province.

On 10 March 1861, the Hospital began operating. Its old facilities only catered for mental health patients. From 1802 until the beginning of its operations, the Hospital’s administrators were: Francisco de Souza Rego (1802-1820); João do Rego Falcão (1821-1827); Joaquim José Mendes and Vicente Ferreira dos Guimarães Peixoto (1828-1832); Father Manoel da Fonseca e Silva (1832); Francisco Xavier de Luna Freire (1838-1839); Antonio de Faria Neves (1840); Joaquim José Barreto (1841-1842); Bernardo José Gonçalves (1843-1844); Camillo de Mendonça Furtado (1845); Antonio Francisco Dias Nogueira and Albino de Carvalho Lessa (1846-1850); Lt. Col. Antonio Germano Cavalcanti de Albuquerque (1851-1853); Father Joaquim Maurício Wanderley (1854); Luiz do Rego Barros (1855 to Aug. 1859); the Sisters of Charity (Irmãs de Caridade) (1859).

The Hospital remained for many years under the administration of the Sisters of Charity of Santa Casa de Misericórdia, an institution which, not only in Recife but in many Brazilian cities, was concerned with the medical assistance of the less-fortunate.

At the end of the 19th century, Hospital Pedro II was already a reference point. Throughout its existence it housed an obstetrics course for women, a School of Nursing and, in 1946, through an agreement with the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), it began to serve as a teaching hospital for medical students, under the name of Hospital das Clínicas.

Years later, when the Hospital das Clínicas (HC) was transferred to the Engenho do Meio neighbourhood, the installations at Pedro II were removed and it was decommissioned, soon afterwards becoming partly occupied by the Regional Directory of the State Secretary of Health. The transfer of the sectors from Pedro II to the HC occurred gradually, from 1979 until 1981.

In 2006, a movement led by the Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP) promised, along with Santa Casa de Misericórdia and Pernambuco high-society, to restore the Hospital Pedro II building to once again be a teaching hospital, this time belonging to the IMIP Faculty of Medicine. The development of the project was under the responsibility of architect Jorge Passos, whose challenges included preserving the building and meeting the demands of housing the new hospital services that would be provided to the community: the widening of the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS) (Unique Health System) with the creation of the General Transplant Unit, Motor Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy and Adult Haemodialysis; instalment of the Medical Convention Centre, Polytechnic School of Health, Laboratories of Clinical Abilities and the Residents’ House, and the Memorial da Saúde Materno-Infantil Prof. Fernando Figueira (Memorial of Maternal-Infant Health).

The majority of the great names in Pernambuco medicine passed through Hospital Pedro II, as either student or component of the medical body. It was the first hospital in the North or Northeast of Brazil to perform cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation.

Recife, 26 November 2008.
(Updated on 14 September 2009).
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.


sources consulted

HOSPITAL Pedro II. Almanach de Pernambuco, Recife, ano 3, p. 17-19, 1900.

HOSPITAL Pedro II. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 21 nov. 2008.

O IMIP e o Pedro II. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 21 nov. 2008.

MACIEL, F. de A. Oliveira. Relatório apresentado à 10ª Junta Administrativa da Santa Casa de Misericórdia do Recife em Pernambuco pelo provedor Desembargador F. de A. Oliveira Maciel no dia 1º de julho de 1878 por ocasião da respectiva posse. Recife: Typographia Mercantil, 1878.

PARAÍSO, Rostand. O Hospital Pedro II. In: ______. A velha senhora. Recife: Bagaço, 2004. p. 57-71.

PROJETO de restauro do Hospital Pedro II. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 21 nov. 2008


how to quote this text

Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Hospital Pedro II. Pesquisa Escolar On-Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.