Brennand Sculptures & the Lighthouse

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The Francisco Brennand Sculpture Park on the pier across the water from Marco Zero contains more than 90 of the famous sculptor’s ceramic works, most of them small in size. The Crystal Tower (top photo) is obviously the largest of the pieces. At over 100 ft (32 m) tall, it was inspired by a flower (flor de cristal) found by famous landscape designer Burle Marx in an equatorial forest.

The park was inaugurated in 2000 as part of the “Eu vi o mundo…Ele começava no Recife” (I saw the world, it started in Recife) project for the 500 year celebration since the discovery of Brazil. You can catch a tour of the park here.

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Built on the ruins of a Portuguese fort from the 1590s, Recife’s Lighthouse was inaugurated in 1822 and appears in the coat of arms of both the city (below, left) and the state (right), as acknowledgement of its importance in the defense of the city.

There’s not much left from the original construction, as it was not only rebuilt but also temporarily transferred to another location along the centuries. The mid-level red stripe, which makes it pop from a distance, was added in 1994, though the bottom part of the structure was red in the past. Below is a painting of how it looked in the 19th century, and a black & white photo from the 1920s.

These days, it can be visited but not entered, in other words, you can’t go into the tower itself. The exact location is here, past Francisco Brennand’s sculptures, which can be accessed via little boats from Marco Zero. As for the question of if the lighthouse is worth the visit, I’d say it’s more for history buffs and/or those who are already taking the boat across to see the Brennand sculptures.

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