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Igarassu is a city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. It is the second oldest city of the country and is situated on the north coast of the metropolitan region of Recife, approximately 32km. It stands as one of the earliest European settlements in Brazil and is the site of the oldest church in the country, the Church of Saints Cosme and Damião, built in 1535. Igarassu is home to numerous colonial-period historic structures. The historic center of the city was designated a national monument by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) in 1972.HistoryIgarassu was inhabited by Caetés Indians before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century. Its genesis as a town came with the arrival in the area of Duarte Coelho Pereira in 1535. Coelho's arrival marked the beginning of the Portuguese settlement of Brazil.The town itself was established in 1537 as the village of Igarassu, which means “Great Canoe” in Tupi-Guaraní. It was one of the first European settlements of the Hereditary Captaincy (a Portuguese administrative division) of Pernambuco. Shortly after Coelho's arrival he ordered a rock landmark erected to mark the border between Pernambuco and Itamaracá; this still stands today. Igarassu was destroyed at the end of the Dutch occupation of Brazil in the mid-17th century. Architectural materials from the ruins of Igarassu were used to build the town of Olinda.When using our Brazil road trip planning site, you're building your holiday based on your own interests, visitor reviews, and the informed opinions of our well-traveled writers.
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