Infobox Brazilian State
name = State of Pernambuco

motto =
anthem =

capital = Recife
latd= |latm= |latNS= |longd= |longm= |longEW=
largest_city = Recife
demonym = Pernambucano
leader_name1 = Eduardo Campos
leader_name2 = João Lyra Neto
area = 98.311,616
area_magnitude = 1 E10
area_rank = 19th
population_estimate = 8,800,603
population_estimate_rank = 7th
population_estimate_year = 2006
population_census = 8,420,564
population_census_year = 2005
population_density = 86,5
population_density_rank = 6th
GDP = R$ 49,904,000,000
GDP_rank = 10th
GDP_year = 2005
GDP_per_capita = R$ 5,931
GDP_per_capita_rank = 21th
HDI = 0.718
HDI_rank = 22th
HDI_year = 2005
abbreviation = BR-PE
time_zone = BRT
utc_offset = -3
time_zone_DST = BRST
utc_offset_DST = -2

Pernambuco (pronounced|pɛxnɐ̃ˈbuku [In the Brazilian Portuguese variant spoken in Pernambuco. The European Portuguese pronunciation is IPA| [pɨɾnɐ̃ˈβuku] .] ) is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about 185 kilometers (114 miles)of beaches, some of most beautiful of the country, as Porto de Galinhas, Carneiros and Calhetas. The capital, Recife, has one of most beautiful urban areas of the country: Boa Viagem. Together with its neighbor city of Olinda, is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the northeastern part of Brazil. Both have Portuguese architecture, with secular casarões and churches, and kilometers of beaches and much culture. Pernambuco also has the most beautiful archipelago of Brazil, Fernando de Noronha. The proximity of the Equator guarantees an entire year of sun, with average temperatures of 26°C (78.8°F).


Pernambuco comprises a comparatively narrow coastal zone, a high inland plateau, and an intermediate zone formed by the terraces and slopes between the two.

Its surface is much broken by the remains of the ancient plateau which has been worn down by erosion, leaving escarpments and ranges of flat-topped mountains, called chapadas, capped in places by horizontal layers of sandstone. Ranges of these chapadas form the boundary lines with three states–the Serra dos Irmaos and Serra Vermelha with Piauí, the Serra do Araripe with Ceará, and the Serra dos Cariris Velhos with Paraíba.The coastal area is fertile, and was formerly covered by the humid Pernambuco coastal forests, the northern extension of the Atlantic Forests (Mata Atlântica) of eastern Brazil. It is now place to extensive sugar cane plantations. It has a hot, humid climate, relieved to some extent by the south-east trade winds.

The middle zone, called the agreste region, has a drier climate and lighter vegetation, including the semi-deciduous Pernambuco interior forests, where many trees lose their leaves in the dry season.

The inland region, called the sertão is high, stony, and dry, and frequently devastated by prolonged droughts (secas). The climate is characterized by hot days and cool nights. There are two clearly defined seasons, a rainy season from March to June, and a dry season for the remaining months. The interior of the state is covered mostly by the dry thorny scrub vegetation called "caatinga". The Rio São Francisco is the main water source for this area.

The climate is more mild in the countryside of the state because of the Borborema Plateau ("Planalto da Borborema", popularly known as "Serra das Russas" or "Russians' Mountain"). Some towns are located more than 1000 meters above sea level, and the temperatures there can descend to 10°C (50°F) and even 5°C (41°F) in some cities (i.e., Triunfo) during the winter.

The island of Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic Ocean, 535 km northeast of Recife, has been part of Pernambuco since 1988.

The rivers of the state include a number of small plateau streams flowing southward to the São Francisco River, and several large streams in the eastern part flowing eastward to the Atlantic. The former are the Moxotó, Ema, Pajeú, Terra Nova, Brigida, Boa Vista and Pontai, and are dry channels the greater part of the year.

The largest of the coastal rivers are the Goiana River, which is formed by the confluence of the Tracunhaem and Capibaribe-mirim, and drains a rich agricultural region in the north-east part of the state; the Capibaribe, which has its source in the Serra de Jacarara and flows eastward to the Atlantic at Recife with a course of nearly 300 miles; the Ipojuca, which rises in the Serra de Aldeia Velha and reaches the coast south of Recife; the Serinhaen; and the Uná. A large tributary of the Uná, the Rio Jacuhipe, forms part of the boundary line with Alagoas.


Originally inhabited by various indigenous peoples, Pernambuco was first settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Shortly after King João III of Portugal created the Hereditary Captaincies in 1534, Pernambuco was granted to Duarte Coelho, who arrived in "Nova Lusitânia" (or "New Lusitania", as the area was then known) in 1535..

Due to the cultivation of sugar and cotton, Pernambuco was one of the few prosperous captaincies (the other notable one being São Vincente). With the support of the Dutch East India Company, sugar mills ("engenho") were built and a sugar-based economy developed. In 1612, Pernambuco produced 14,000 tons of sugar; in the 1640s, more than 24,000 tons of sugar were exported to Amsterdam alone. While the sugar industry relied at first on the labor of indigenous peoples, especially the Tupis and Tapuyas, high mortality and economic growth led to the importation of African slaves from the late 1600s. Some of these slaves escaped the sugar-producing coastal regions and formed independent inland communities called mocambos, including Palmares.

In 1630, Pernambuco, as well as many Portuguese possessions in Brazil, was occupied by the Dutch. The occupation was strongly resisted and the Dutch conquest was only partially successful. In the interim, thousands of the enslaved Africans had fled to Palmares, and soon the mocambos there had grown into two significant states. The Dutch, who allowed sugar production to remain in Portuguese hands, regarded suppression of Palmares important, but they were unsuccessful." (Dutch colonization enterprise in Brazil).

Nassau's government built Maritania or Mauritsstad (Recife) on delta islands, which have similarities to Holland's topography. This moved the political focus from Olinda to Recife. Nassau's Dutch administration was noted for advancements in urbanism, culture, and science. The Dutch legacy is still recognizable in Pernambuco's people, accent and architecture.

Portugal reconquered Recife in 1654 and Olinda regained its status of political center. However, Recife remained the commercial /port city. If the Dutch were gone, however, the threat of the now unified quilombo of Palmares remained. In spite of a treaty negotiated in 1678 with its ruler Ganga Zumba, a war between the two remained. Zumbi who became ruler following the peace treaty and later repudiated it, fought the Portuguese government until 1694 when soldiers brought from the south eventually defeated him. In 1710 the Mascate War took place in Pernambuco. This conflict set the "mascates" (traveling salesman) from Recife against the establishment hosted in Olinda and led by the "Senhores de Engenho" (owners of the sugar mills, literally: sugar mill lords).

Pernambuco was the site of the most important rebellions and insurrections in Brazilian history, especially in the 19th century.

1817 was the year of the Pernambucan Revolution, a republican separatist movement which resulted in the creation of the "Republic of Pernambuco". The main cause of the revolution was dissatisfaction with the colonial administration. The republic was declared on March 7, 1817. After military intervention, the secession ended on May 20, 1817. The current flag of Pernambuco is actually the flag of that Republic.

As a reaction to the Emperor Dom Pedro I dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the Confederation of the Equator was set up on July 2, 1824. The Confederation was another separatist movement which encompassed the provinces of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, and Ceará. On November 29, 1824, the Confederated forces capitulated to the Imperial army.

Pernambuco was the site of the brief liberal republican Praieira revolt in 1848, which was Brazil's response to the European year of failed liberal revolutions. Deodoro da Fonseca, the marshal who crushed the revolt, much later overthrew Emperor Pedro II, and served as the first president of the Brazilian republic.


According to the IBGE of 2007, there were 8,518,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 86.5 inh./km².

Urbanization: 76.8% (2006); Population growth: 1.2% (1991-2000); Houses: 2,348,000 (2006). [Source: PNAD.]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 4,707,000 Pardo (Brown) people (57.7%), 3,151,000 White people (37.0%), 417,000 Black people (4.9%), 34,000 Asian or Amerindian people (0.4%). [cite book|url=|title=Síntese de Indicadores Sociais 2007|publisher=IBGE|location=Pernambuco, Brazil|format=PDF|isbn=85-240-3919-1|accessdate=2007-07-18|year=2007|language=Portuguese]

Mixed-race (those of mixed African and Portuguese ancestry) predominate in the coast. Mamelucos (those of mixed Amerindian and Portuguese ancestry) predominate in the interior (Sertão). Whites of colonial Portuguese descent are a plurality in some towns. [ [,,OI1887346-EI6608,00.html Notas nordestinas - Terra - Antonio Riserio ] ]

Interesting facts

Vehicles: 1,170,068 (March/2007);
Mobile phones: 4.5 million (April/2007); Telephones: 1.2 million (April/2007); Cities: 185 (2007). [Source: IBGE.]


The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 57.4%, followed by the industrial sector at 33.1%. Agriculture represents 9.5% of GDP (2004). Pernambuco exports: sugar 35.6%, fruit and juice 12.6%, fish and crustacean 12.3%, electric products 11.1%, chemicals 7.1%, woven 5.6% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 2.7% (2004). [cite book|url=|title=List of Brazilian states by GDP|publisher=IBGE|location=Pernambuco, Brazil|format=PDF|isbn=85-240-3919-1|accessdate=2007-07-18|year=2004|language=Portuguese]

The economy is based on agriculture (sugarcane, manioc), livestock farming and creations, as well as industry (alimentary, chemical, metallurgical, electronic, textile).The state has the second biggest industrial output of the Northeast, just behind Bahia. In the period of October 2005 to October 2006, the industrial growth of the state was the second biggest in Brazil - 6.3%, more than double the national average in the same period (2.3%). Another segment that deserves to be highlighted is mineral extration. The pole gesseiro of Araripina is the supplier from 95% of the plaster consumed in Brazil. The pole of data processing of the Recife - Digital Port - despite having started in 2001, is one of the five biggest in Brazil. It employs around three thousand persons, and has 3.5% the PIB of the state.

Alcohol in Pernambuco State (Clean Air)

Pernambuco State has the 5th highest sugarcane Brazilian production. Brazil is by far the largest producer of alcohol fuel in the world, typically fermenting ethanol from sugarcane and sugar beets. The country produces a total of 18 billion liters annually, of which 3.5 billion are exported, 2 billion of them to the US. Alcohol-fueled cars started in the Brazilian market in 1978 and became quite popular because of heavy subsidy, but in the 80s prices rose and gasoline regained the leading market share.But from 2004 on, alcohol is rapidly increasing its market share once again because of new technologies involving hybrid fuel car engines called "Flex" by all major car manufacturers (Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Peugeot, Honda, Citroën, Fiat, etc.). "Flex" engines work with gasoline, alcohol or any mixture of both fuels. As of February 2007, approximately 80% of new vehicles sold in Brazil are hybrid fuel. Because of the Brazilian leading production and technology, many countries became very interested in importing alcohol fuel and adopting the "Flex" vehicle concept. On March 7, 2007, US president George W. Bush visited the city of São Paulo to sign agreements with Brazilian president Lula on importing alcohol and its technology as an alternative fuel.


Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions

The main educational installations of the state are concentrated in the capital, including the seventh best federal university of the country. Pernambuco had main universities and colleges founded in the 19th and 20th century. Some of them are known nationally. The Faculdade de Direito do Recife, or Recife's Law College, was founded in August, 11, 1827, was the first higher education institute in Brazil. Castro Alves and Joaquim Nabuco, two important people in Brazilian history, studied there. Others important institutions are:
* Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) (Federal University of Pernambuco);
* Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (Unicap) (Catholic University of Pernambuco);
* Universidade de Pernambuco (UPE) (University of Pernambuco);
* Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE) (Rural Federal University of Pernambuco);
* Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Pernambuco (Cefet-PE);
* and many others.


Carnival in Pernambuco

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets. Pernambuco has large Carnival celebrations, including the "frevo", typical Pernambuco music. Another famous carnaval music style from Pernambuco is "maracatu". The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic carnaval celebrations in Brazil. The largest carnaval parade in all of Brazil is "Galo da Madrugada", which takes place in downtown Recife in the Saturday of carnival. Another famous event is the "Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos".

Recife’s joyous Carnaval is nationally known and admired, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios “shaking” the Boa Viagem district.On Friday, people take to the streets to enjoy themselves to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat (cultural movement created in Recife during the 90s) groups. There are still many other entertainment centres around the city, featuring local and national artists. One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.

aint John's Day

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese, for whom Saint John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice, but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of Saint Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Once exclusively a rural festival, today, in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served, including canjica and pamonha. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.

Saint John's Day is celebrated throughout Pernambuco. Nonetheless, the festivities in Caruaru are by far the largest in the state and in Brasill. It also has been noted by many that the celebration of "Sao Joao" in Caruaru is the largest festival in the world celebrating Sao joao. Saint John's festivals in Gravatá and Carpina are also very popular.

Winter Festival

In the hilly areas of the interior - mainly in areas with a micro-climate of altitude - temperatures that can reach 8°C in the winter. Every winter, when the weather is milder, tourists from neighboring states and other parts of Pernambuco visit cities such as Garanhuns, Gravatá, Triunfo and Taquaritinga do Norte.

The city of Garanhuns holds an annual Winter Festival, in the month of July. The main attractions are concerts, dances, rural tourism, culinary and the low temperatures.


International Airport

Guararapes International Airport. The new Recife/Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre International Airport has been open since July 2004 and has 52 thousand square meters of area. The second largest airport in the North and Northeast regions, Guararapes had its capacity expanded from 1.5 million to 5 million passengers a year. Now there are 64 check-in counters, versus the former terminal’s 24. The shopping and leisure area was also totally remodeled, within the “Aeroshopping” concept, which transforms an airport into a center for business, comfort and high-quality products and services. The commercial spaces will be occupied in steps and the final total will be 142 shops. Since 2000, Recife has had the longest runway in the Northeast, at 3,305 meters. Its extension permits operations with jumbo jets, such as the Boeing 747-400, which can carry 290 passengers and 62 tons of cargo, with endurance to fly nonstop to anywhere in South and Central America, Africa and parts of Europe, the United States and Canada.


Suape port. Suape serves ships 365 days a year without any restrictions in regards to tide schedules. To assist in the docking operation of the ships, the port offers a monitoring system and laser ship docking system that enables effective, secure control and upholds the same technical standards as the most important ports across the globe. The port moves over 5 million tons of cargo a year. The liquid granary (petroleum by-products, chemical products, alcohols, vegetable oils, etc.) constitutes more than 80% of the movement. The port can serve ships of up to 170,000 tpb and operational draft of 14.50m. With 27km² of backport, the internal and external ports offer the necessary conditions for serving large ships. The access canal has 5,000m of extension, 300m in width and 16.5m in length.

Suape has started in the 21th century to be Pernambuco's motive power toward developoment. Huge nationals and internationals investments are being attract by its logistics qualities which, until 2010, more then US$ 10 billion dollars are expected, at least.

Tourism and recreation

The Pernambuco coastline is 187 km long.
* Fernando de Noronha: Fernando de Noronha is an isolated group of 21 volcanic islands approximately 340 miles from Recife. The main islands are the visible parts of a range of submerged mountains, islets and rocks. The Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha hosts ecological sites ideal for exuberant marine animal life, due to its geographic location far from the continent and well within the path of the Southern Equatorial Currents, as well as the nature of its climate.: "How to get there:" by plane from Recife (545km) or from Natal (360). An environmental preservation fee is charged from tourists upon arrival.
* Porto de Galinhas: It's famous for being one of the most beautiful beaches of the Brazilian coast, due to its landscape. Warm clear water pools scattered around its coral reefs, estuaries, mangroves, coconut trees and a number of other samples of abundant nature richness make Porto de Galinhas a place not to be missed or forgotten.: "How to get there:" can be reached through Highways BR-101 Sul, PE-060, PE-038 and PE-09.
* Boa Viagem: If you are looking for a good beach but don't want to take a long journey to get there, Boa Viagem is the best choice. Located in the privileged southern Recife metropolitan area, Boa Viagem is the most important and frequented beach in town. It is protected by a long reef wall and has an extensive coastline.: "How to get there:" Boa Viagem, Recife.
* Ilha de Itamaracá: Separated from the mainland by the Jaguaribe River, it has several highly frequented beaches. Among them are Forte Orange, Praia do Sossego and Pontal da Ilha. On the island you can visit the Marine Manatee Preservation Center.: "How to get there:" you can reach the island through Highway BR-101 Norte, going past Igarassu, Itapissuma, and reaching Itamaracá at km 34.
* Maracaípe: Beach with big waves. Maracaípe hosts a phase of the Brazilian Surf Tournament. Highly frequented by surfers and neighbor to Porto de Galinhas, Maracaípe.: "How to get there:" can be reached through Highways BR-101 Sul, PE-060, PE-038 and PE-09.
* Tamandaré: Small waves and fine sand can be found there. Considered by many as the best beach for bathing and swimming in Pernambuco. Easy to reach from Recife.: "How to get there:" through Highway BR-101 Sul, PE-060 and PE-076.
* Calhetas: Small bay of difficult access. Searched for by many for diving.: "How to get there:" you can reach Calhetas through BR-101 Sul and PE-060.
* Coroa do Avião: Famous small island, in the middle of the Jaguaribe River delta, which can be reached only by boat or raft, from Recife or Itamaracá.: "How to get there:" from Itamaracá only by boat or raft.

Main Cities

Other main cities include:
*Brejo da Madre de Deus
*Nazaré da Mata
*Santa Maria da Boa Vista
*São Bento do Una
*Taquaritinga do Norte

See also:
*List of cities in Brazil (all cities and municipalities)


Soccer was introduced in Pernambuco in 1902, when English and Dutch sailors disembarked in Recife and played a game of soccer in the beach. The novelty awoke the interest of the people of Pernambuco, that soon adhered to the game. Recife provides visitors and residents with various sport activities, The city has the main soccer teams in the state of Pernambuco. There are several soccer clubs based in Recife, such as Sport Recife (1987 and 2008 national soccer champion), Santa Cruz FC, and Náutico.

Recife is one of the 18 remaining candidates to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Brazil.


External links

*pt icon Official|
*en icon [ Brazilian Tourism Portal]
*pt icon [ Tourism Official Website]
*en icon [ Cities of Pernambuco]

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