Recife History Museums Walk (Self Guided), Recife

Recife is a city with a very rich culture due to its inhabitants, local Indians, slaves and settlers, as well as Dutch people who had a colony here for about twenty years. As a result, the museums that can be enjoyed in this city are diverse and very interesting, especially those telling the history of the place. Take this walk that will lead you to the most interesting and famous history museums of Recife.
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Recife History Museums Walk Map

Guide Name: Recife History Museums Walk
Guide Location: Brazil » Recife (See other walking tours in Recife)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: alice
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel
  • Museu Militar do Forte de Brum
  • Museu de Historia Natural Loius Jacques Brunet
  • Museu do Instituto Arqueologico e Geografico de Pernambuco
  • Estacao Central e Museu do Trem do Recife
  • Forte das Cinco Pontas & Museu da Cidade do Recife
Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel

1) Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel (must see)

Kahal Zur Israel, located in Recife, was the first Jewish congregation in the New World. It was established by immigrants from the Netherlands and joined by New Christians who were already living in the colony. There is now a museum on this site of the oldest synagogue site in the Americas.

From 1636 to 1654, the synagogue functioned on the site of the houses no. 197 and 203 Rua do Bom Jesus. It flourished in the mid-17th century when the Dutch briefly controlled this part of northeastern Brazil. The original synagogue building survived until the early 20th century when it was torn down. The site has been confirmed by an archaeological excavation. In 2001 the decision was made to create a Jewish museum in two story house with two shops located on the first floor then standing on the site of the old synagogue. The synagogue served a community of approximately 1,450 Jews. It had a cantor, Josue Velosino, and a rabbi, Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, sent to Recife in 1642.

The museum, built to resemble synagogues built in the 17th and 18th centuries by Jews from Spain and Portugal, opened in 2001. The synagogue is also at the center of a broader cultural renaissance. In November of every year, a Jewish festival offering dance, cinema, and food, from gefilte fish to fluden, attracts around 20,000 visitors.

Why You Should Visit:
To see a beautiful reconstruction of this first synagogue and watch informative videos.
All items shown including the educational part on the first floor are very well presented and you can spend plenty of time taking it all or just enjoying the beautiful historic atmosphere.

Start on the top floor for the short movie that tells the history of Jews in Recife.
On the first floor, everything is written both in Portuguese and English, while upstairs it is just English so remember to also ask for an English brochure.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 9am-4:30pm; Sun: 2-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museu Militar do Forte de Brum

2) Museu Militar do Forte de Brum

Museu Militar do Forte de Brum is located within the Fort of Brum, known before as Forte do Bom Jesus. It was built in the 16th century to protect Recife from pirate attacks. Later here was built the St. John the Baptist Brum Chapel that gave the name to the fort as well. Now it houses a military museum that shows an interesting collection of guns, pictures and documents, mostly featuring the participation of Brazil in World War II. The museum is open Tuesdays - Fridays from 9:00 until 16:30 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 14:00 until 17:00. The structure is also a local landmark.
Museu de Historia Natural Loius Jacques Brunet

3) Museu de Historia Natural Loius Jacques Brunet

Museu de História Natural Loius Jacques Brunet was founded in 1858 and it is located within the building of the Pernambucano Gymnasium. It is named after the scientist that established the museum and organized its collection. The exhibitions on display are on subjects like geology, archaeology, zoology and botany. The museum is one of the first of its kind established in South America. The museum is opened during the first part of the day from Monday through Friday.
Museu do Instituto Arqueologico e Geografico de Pernambuco

4) Museu do Instituto Arqueologico e Geografico de Pernambuco

Museu do Instituto Arqueológico was founded in 1862 at the suggestion of Dom Pedro II, the ruler of Brazil at that time. Since then, the museum changed locations several times. It is a great museum that shows the history of the state. The collection of the museum is organized in rooms by themes. It consists of memorabilia like coins, weaponry, furniture, maps, art objects, religious objects, heraldry and many other interesting things. The museum is open Mondays – Fridays from 13:00 until 17:00 and on Saturdays from 8:00 until 12:00. The museum is located 100 meters down from the corner of Avenida Conde da Boa Vista and Rua do Hospício.
Estacao Central e Museu do Trem do Recife

5) Estacao Central e Museu do Trem do Recife

Central Station and Railway Museum of Recife (Museu do Trem) was established in 1972 within the Central Station. Now it is the Recife Metro. The museum is informative and shows the history of railroads in Brazil. The collection is vast and it includes entire locomotives, pieces and parts of locomotives, compartments and railroads as well as other memorabilia, pictures and art work on the subject. sociologist Gilberto Freyre oversees the museum. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday: 9 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 5pm; Sunday: 10 am - 2 pm.
Forte das Cinco Pontas & Museu da Cidade do Recife

6) Forte das Cinco Pontas & Museu da Cidade do Recife (must see)

Forte das Cinco Pontas was built in 1630 by Dutch and it is the place where the Dutch finally surrendered before they were expelled from Brazil in 1654. Now the fort houses the Recife City Museum (Museu da Cidade). It has a great collection of memorabilia, documents, maps, photographs and other objects from different places and times that show the history of the city.

Why You Should Visit:
Along with the Instituto Ricardo Brennand, this is the best place in the city for anyone interested in the history of Recife and the state of Pernambuco. Organized, self-explanatory and free.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun: 1-5pm

Walking Tours in Recife, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Recife

Create Your Own Walk in Recife

Creating your own self-guided walk in Recife is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bairro Santo Antonio Walk

Bairro Santo Antonio Walk

Santo Antonio is a beautiful part of old Recife. It has some very interesting and fascinating tourist attractions, striking sights, historical and architectural views, old churches and picturesque squares. Take this walk to see some of the most popular tourist attractions of Santo Antonio in Recife.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Recife Religious Sights Walk

Recife Religious Sights Walk

Recife is a beautiful city with a large number of fascinating churches. The majority of them were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here is a walk to see some of the most beautiful and well-known religious sites in Recife's downtown.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Bairro do Recife Walk

Bairro do Recife Walk

Recife is an old city and the Bairro do Recife is one of the oldest parts of it. When the city was established in 16th century, Bairro do Recife was the original settlement and the entire city grew from there. The sights, architectural views and attractions within this neighborhood are striking. Take this walk to see some of the most remarkable spots in the Bairro do Recife.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Recife Introduction Walking Tour

Recife Introduction Walking Tour

In addition to the many rivers, bridges and peninsulas making up most of what's unique about Recife, the main city of the Brazilian state Pernambuco is also famous for its historic downtown area originated in the 16th century. Follow this orientation walk and learn about the past and present of this exiting destination!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles