The archipelago was discovered in 1503 by the Américo Vespúcio armada, commanded by Gonçalo Coelho, which had one of its ships wrecked during an exploratory expedition of the Brazilian coaston 10 August of that year.
Fort São Tiago das Cinco Pontas [St James of the Five Points] is located in the present district of São José, near the old Santa Rita Bus Station. It is the last Dutch building in Recife and one of the most representative monuments of colonial architecture.
In 1631, at the southern entrance to the Santa Cruz Channel on the island of Itamaracá, Pernambuco, the Dutch built Fort Orange to protect access to the landing and embarkation of ships destined for the ports of Igarassu and Vila da Conceição (later Vila Schkoppe).
Engineer Luis Francisco Pimentel was tasked with designing the fort. However in 1707, during the construction of the fort, the engineer drowned in the River Doce. His original design, which was painted in watercolour, is at the Ultramarino Historical Archive in Lisbon, Portugal.
It is known that he was born in Pernambuco, but his date of birth is unknown. It is also unknown whether he was born a slave or free, nor who was his wife. He did not have any sons, but had four daughters, two of whom were called Guiomar and Benta.