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Pernambuco Gymnasium

Its first director was the Benedictine friar Miguel do Sacramento Lopes Gama, later nicknamed Father Carapuceiro.

Pernambuco Gymnasium

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Last update: 11/10/2013

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

It was founded on September 1st, 1825, by decree of the President of the province of Pernambuco, José Carlos Mayrink, under the name of Provincial College of Pernambuco, at one of the dependencies of the Carmelite convent.

Its first director was the Benedictine friar Miguel do Sacramento Lopes Gama, later nicknamed Father Carapuceiro.

Few institutions have changed both in name and location of operation as the Ginásio Pernambucano. As a Lyceum it functioned, from 1844 to 1850 in a townhouse at Gervásio Pires Street; in the turrets in the Customs; on the first floor of the Companhia dos Operários Engajados, in the house of the sessions of the jury, at Rua da Praia and Pátio do Paraíso. In 1850, it moved to Rua do Hospício, into the building after which the School of Engineering was established, remaining in that location for 16 years.

On May 14, 1855, an Act converts the Provincial College of Pernambuco into a public boarding school, and for secondary education, under the title of Ginásio Pernambucano.

The foundation stone for the new building, to be built on Rua da Aurora was placed on August 14, 1855.

The building design is by engineer José Mamede Alves Ferreira, trained by the Engineering School of Paris. In the original design the building appeared with two floors, but the project was mutilated, and only the ground floor was raised, being sacrificed for economy measure, the other two. An upper floor was added only in 1857.

In 1859, the Ginásio Pernambucano received the visit of Emperor Dom Pedro II.

With the building still unfinished, on December 20, 1866, the Ginásio Pernambucano settles definitely at Rua da Aurora.

In the government of Alexandre José Barbosa Lima, through a Decree from January 1st, 1893, it was renamed to Instituto Benjamin Constant, when of Gymnasium was merged with the Ecole Normale, the boarding school was abolished and several scientific and professional courses were added.

In June 1899, the Institute was terminated and the name Ginásio Pernambucano returned and remained until 1942, when it became the Colégio Pernambucano and then Colégio Estadual. It was called Ginásio Pernambucano again by Decree No. 3432, from December 31, 1974.

The Gymnasium had a Natural History Museum, organized by the French naturalist Louis Brunet, a library, founded by Professor João Regueira Costa and a chapel built on the initiative of Father Francisco Rochael where Masses were said on Sundays and holy days.

It was one of the most famous Educational establishments in Pernambuco, recognized mainly by the quality of its teachers.

Recife, 1 July 2003.
( Updated 28 August 2009 )

sources consulted

FRANCA, Rubem. Monumentos do Recife. Recife: Governo de Pernambuco, SEC, 1977. p.142-147.

MONTENEGRO, Olívio. Memórias do Ginásio Pernambucano. Recife: Assembléia Legislativa de Pernambuco, 1979.

PEREIRA, Nilo. Centenário do Ginásio Pernambucano. Recife: [s. n.] 1956.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Ginásio Pernambucano. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at: <>. Accessed : day  month year. Exemple: 6 August 2009.