Sítio da Trindade (Recife, PE)
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Last update: 17/03/2022
Located in the quarter of Casa Amarela in the municipality of Recife, the Sítio Trindade was an important territory during the Dutch invasion (1630–1654). In that elevated area was located the Arraial do Bom Jesus Fort, also known as Arraial Velho, a fortification made of rammed earth by the general Matias de Albuquerque between 1630 and 1635. The construction operated as a Brazilian-Portuguese pocket of resistance against the Flemish, who bombed the place and occupied it in 1635.
Immediately after the construction of Arraial Velho, the army settled camp nearby, and around a thousand formerly inhabitants of Olinda that left their homes during the Dutch invasion migrated to the area in fear of impending developments. Among them, there were several ecclesiastics, mostly Franciscans, that built an oratory to celebrate masses and engage in other religious ceremonies.
Sutlers set up tents and commercial establishments around the fortification. The region was a strategic spot to prevent the Dutch from entering the sugarcane mill and the planting area, the greatest source of income of the captaincy of Pernambuco.
With the increasing number refugees and the difficulties to receive nourishment, the cattle, horses, dogs, cats, among other animals, were consumed by the starving. Speculators took advantage of the opportunity and raised the price of nourishment to a point that the infantrymen were only able to consume a small portion of sugar, a corncob, and a handful of manioc flour per day.
It’s reported that, by the order of the captain André Marim, some merchants were hanged once it was proved they were taking advantage of the scenario. However, as a result of the enemies’ attacks, the lack of weaponry, and a proper nutrition, the Real do Bom Jesus Fort was taken in 1635.
The Portuguese then constructed a brand-new fortification in the imminence of Madalena, the Real do Bom Jesus Fort, known as Arraial Novo so it could be distinguished from the original. The village was the headquarters of the restorers from 1646 to 1654, and its ruins can still be seen from Avenida do Forte, in the Torrões area.
Some of the previously inhabitants went back to Arraial Velho to repair bombed houses and construct new ones. As time went by, the lands were divided into different farms and properties, and new streets and roads appeared, as well as new houses.
The lands of Arraial later passed into the hands of the Trindade Paretti family, reason why it was called Sítio da Trindade. This property has a 600 meters square chalet, and 6.5 hectares of green area, where some plates can be seen. One of them reads:
As you walk through those lands, you set foot on a soil once occupied by Matias de Albuquerque and many other heroes who fought against invaders.
Facing a 2-meter obelisk made of granite, on a commemorative landmark that was inaugurated on the January 30, 1922, another plate can be seen:
“Here was the Forte Arraial do Bom Jesus (Arraial Velho) 1630-1635. Instituto Archeologico, 1922”.
There is also monument made of cement with a medallion and a plate where is engraved:
“To the eminent naturalist José Pedro de Faria Neves, a homage from the people of Recife”.
In 1952, the Sítio da Trindade was expropriated and declared a public good. The site was declared a public good by the Instituto Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan) on June 17, 1974, in recognition of its socio-historical relevance.
Recife, October 21, 2004.
COSTA, Francisco Augusto Pereira da. Arredores do Recife. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 1981.
FRANCA, Rubem. Monumentos do Recife. Recife: Secretaria de Educação e Cultura, 1977.
RECIFE. Prefeitura da Cidade. O Recife, histórias de uma cidade. In: A CONQUISTA flamenga. Recife, 2000. Fascículo 2.
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VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Sítio da Trindade (Recife, PE). In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2004. Available at: https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/artigo/sitio-da-trindade-recife-pe/. Accessed on: MM. DD YYYY.