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Jiquiá (neighbourhood, Recife)

Jiquiá is the name of a neighbourhood in Recife that was situated a little beyond Afogados.

Jiquiá (neighbourhood, Recife)

Article available in: PT-BR

Last update: 14/02/2017

By: Semira Adler Vainsencher - N/I

Jiquiá is the name of a neighbourhood in Recife that was situated a little beyond Afogados. Like so many other districts of the city, it has a history intertwined with the development of the Pernambuco sugar fiefdoms, during the Brazilian Colonial period.

Unfortunately, because of demolitions and the destruction of time itself, there is nothing today about the centuries-old buildings in the locality: the villa house, the chapel and the mill buildings. You cannot appreciate the traditional fish farms that attracted famous fishing every year during Holy Week; nor can you observe the Zeppelin field where the first aeronautical station for dirigibles in South America was built.

The judicial demarcation of the lands of the Jiquiá, where initially there was a sugar mill, was carried out by the ombudsman Jorge Camelo on 12 October 1598, and carried out in connection with a sesmaria letter, conferred by the grantees of the captaincy, which set the beginning of the sugarcane fiefdom about two kilometres from Afogados.

There are references that the Madeiran nobleman Francisco Berenguer de Andrade was the true founder of the locality. In 1639, he would have taken part in a rebellious movement against the Dutch Government, along with Pedro da Cunha Andrade (master of the sugar plantation in Várzea), Filipe Pais Barreto (master of the county of Cabo) and João Carneiro Maria (master of the Ipojuca plantation), among others. Before the Dutch invasion, Berenguer would have sold his mill (and much of its land) to Antônio Fernandes Pessoa, the son of a wealthy settler who still owned the Sibiró sugar mill in Ipojuca. The latter had succeeded in greatly increasing the perimeter of his property through the annexation by means of purchase of the lands of João Gonçalves Carpinteiro and Jerônimo Pais (master of the Casa Forte mill), as well as of other lands he had inherited from his father.

However, due to the strategic importance of the plantation, with many skirmishes over the place during the period of the Dutch invasion, Antônio Fernandes was forced to retire to Ipojuca with his family, completely abandoning Jiquiá in 1637, or as was said at the time: ‘extinguished fire’. Only in 1654, with the end of the war against the Dutch, could the damages the mill suffered be repaired and operations be restarted.

At the time, a pier for loading sugar was built at the mouth of the Jiquiá River to serve as a berth for the small boats that brought goods to the mills and nearby settlements. The warehouse served as a departure point for sugar, wood, and other commercial products that were destined for the squares of Recife. It also served as a deposit for the reception of various goods that came from other mills and villages nearby. A large granite marble cross also existed in front of Passo,  as well as a villa house (for the owners of Passo) and several residential houses.

A few years later, with the death of Antônio Fernandes and his wife, their daughter Ana de Luís da Silva inherited the lands, but decided to sell them to captain Antonio Borges Uchoa, by means of a deed drawn up on 3 March 1657. The locality, at the time, was called Engenho de Santo Antônio do Jiquiá [St Anthony of Jiquiá Plantation].


After about fifty years, as evidenced by a judicial survey undertaken in 1705, the brothers Álvaro and Antônio Barbalho Uchoa appeared as the legitimate owners of the sugar mill, followed by Antônio Correia, chief captain of the Vila do Recife. At the time, the Santo Antônio do Jiquiá mill belonged to the Várzea parish, being a modern factory powered by animals.

Another initiative was the construction of a large warehouse for sugar (and other goods), called Passo de Santa Cruz do Jiquiá, which guaranteed supplies to the suburban population. This gave a great projection to the region, although the Passo did not belong to the owner of the sugar mill and the lands of Jiquiá.

Jiquiá became a beautiful and lively village, with several cultural sites and an important rural property located in the vicinity of Afogados, where trains passed and electric trams circulated.

From Passo, in turn, constituted at the time as a hereditary piece of land, the oldest report there is comes from the testament of Fr João de Lima Abreu, who died in 1697, who said: I declare that among the greatest assets I possess, the greatest is the Passo de Santa Cruz de Jiquiá, with all its belongings and places, with which I institute three chapels for Mass, in which prayers will be said for my soul in each year and for my nephews and nieces, the children of my sister, Gracia Gomes, etc., etc. (Guerra, 1970, p. 203). After the death of the priest, the property passed into the hands of six administrators, who were legally required to provide administrative accounts.

The last administrator was Vicente Ferreira da Meira Lima. Governor Luís do Rego Barreto, in the year 1819, with the objective of constructing a general road from the centre to Santo Antão (today, Vitória de Santo Antão), passing through Jaboatão, ordered the laying of the Jiquiá road.

In 1829, there was a large pottery in Camboa do Jiquiá, with a port. From these lands came clay for the manufacture of tiles and bricks, and a freshwater pond provided water for its production. Adding to this, with the imperial law of 1835, decreeing the extinction of the hereditary lands, the distribution of property and lands occurred among the various co-masters, and the property declined.

Even the granite cross itself was completely abandoned. By accident, it was found in 1868, off its pedestal and covered with thick vegetation. One of the Catholic missionaries, however, followed by the people, carried the cross in procession to Afogados. There, standing on a pedestal, in front of the Church of Our Lady of Peace, it has remained until today, and as incredible as it may seem, except for the existing documentary sources, that cross represents the only palpable vestige of Jiquiá’s existence.

Recife, 18 July 2003.
(Updated on 11 December 2007).
Translated by Peter Leamy, December 2016.

sources consulted

COSTA, F. A. Pereira da. Arredores do Recife. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981.

GUERRA, Flávio. Velhas igrejas e subúrbios históricos. Recife: Fundação Guararapes, 1970.

how to quote this text

Source: VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Jiquiá (bairro, Recife). Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: dia  mês ano. Ex: 6 ago. 2009.