Jaboatão dos Guararapes - Pernambuco
« Cities of Pernambuco
Population: 581.556 (Count of 2000)
Distance from Recife: 18 km
Access: streets and avenues of Recife. Visit the section about map of Recife to read more info.
The name Jaboatão derives from the indian word "Yapoatan", a kind of tree which abunded in the region, used to build masts of ships.
Jaboatão dos Guararapes is the second largest city of Pernambuco, both in population and in economic power. Jaboatão makes border with other important cities, such as the capital Recife, São Lourenço da Mata, Cabo do Santo Agostinho and Moreno.
The village was founded by Bento Luiz de Figueiroa, owner of sugar producing Engenho São João Batista, in 1593. The village was turned into a city, subordinated to Recife, by a law of June 27th 1884, and on August 3rd 1892 it became an automous municipality.
Jaboatão was stage of two bloody battles against the Dutch, in the years 1648 and 1649, on the top of the Monte dos Guararapes (Guararapes Hill); the natives (so understood: the union of Brazilians, Portuguese, indians and blacks) defeated the invaders, and took control of the Guararapes; these victories were important for the definite expulsion of the Dutch, in 1654. The Monte Guararapes is today a National Park, maintained by the Brazilian Army, which refers to the place as the
"Berço da Pátria" (Cradle of the Nation). This next page brings pictures and stories about the Battle of Guararapes.
The municipality of Jaboatão is divided into districts: Jaboatão, Cavaleiros and Prazeres. The city celebrates its emancipation on May 4th.
Jaboatão is one of the cities of the Metropolitan Region of Recife; besides Jaboatão, the MRR comprehends Recife, Olinda, Abreu e Lima, Igarassu, Itapissuma, Itamaracá, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Ipojuca, Camaragibe, São Lourenço da Mata, Araçoiaba e Moreno.
The city has an infrastructure of industries, commerce and services. The economy of Jaboatão is, in several aspects, complementar to the economy of Recife; the capital has physical limitations to grow, and Jaboatão attracted industries and other companies which sell goods and services to Recife; many people live in Recife and commute to work in Jaboatão and vice-versa.
The city is divided in three districts: Jaboatão, Cavaleiro e Prazeres. Jaboatão is the least developed one, with predominance of agriculture and commerce. Cavaleiro is the most populated district, concentrating the masses who work in the industries and shops of Jaboatão and Recife. Prazeres is the most developed district, which includes the City Hall, part of the industrial park and the coast, 8 km long of warm waters which attract turists; also in Prazeres, one finds the Shopping Center Guararapes, the second largest of Pernambuco, and a network of international hotels.
Jaboatão is the second largest city in Pernambuco, and the one with highest rates of economic and populational growth.
Jaboatão dos Guararapes was stage of battles against the Dutch, in the 17th Century. The History of Pernambuco and Brazil can be seen in the streets and monuments around the city.
Every year, on the top of Monte dos Guararapes (photo), there is a performance to remember the Battle of Guararapes (Batalha dos Guararapes). The performance happens in November of each year, in different; visit this page with the cultural agenda of Recife and Pernambuco for up to date information.
Another important touristic event which takes place at the Park is the Feast of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, also known as Festa da Pitomba, an event three centuries old, always happening on the first Monday after Easter. According to the tradition, Our Lady appeared to the soldiers during the Battles, giving them stamine to keep fighting against the Dutch.
The Park Guararapes is 363 hectares large (1 hectare = 10,000 square meters), and includes three hills: Oitizeiro, Telégrafo and Ferradura; the park affords one of the most beautiful views of Recife and Jaboatão. The Park is surveilled by Brazilian Army, and administered by the IPHAN - Brazilian Heritage Institute; see some photos of National Historic Park of Guararapes.
The 8 km of beaches of Jaboatão also attract tourists. Piedade is an extension of Boa Viagem, with many restaurants and hotels. Going further to the south, the beaches are quieter, like the beach of Paiva. Near the mouth of the river Jaboatão, there are places for nautical sports.
Source: IBGE and Government of Pernambuco
Photos: Government of Pernambuco