Poço da Panela is a middle-class neighborhood in northern Recife, in one of the regions with the most trees and bordered on one side by the Capibaribe river. The strange name is said to come from a time when drinkable water was hard to come by, having to be brought in from other places. Someone came across a river and thought the best way to access it was placing a clay pot there.
The neighborhood arose around the 18th century, as part of the lands of the Casa Forte Plantation. In the beginning, it was just a simple settlement in the middle of huge sugarcane plantations. However, from 1746, its profile began to change. A large epidemic of cholera took over Recife and some doctors said that summer bathing in the Capibaribe was a miraculous remedy against the disease. The news spread quickly and the rich started coming there, building summer mansions. Poço da Panela was a predominately rural neighborhood until the start of the 1970s, when it was split into lots for residential homes. It was also the neighborhood most affected by the 1975 floods. Writer and playwright Ariano Suassuna, as well as ex-governor of Pernambuco Miguel Arraes, and the abolitionist José Mariano, once resided there.
In Poço da Panela, sky-scrapers are forbidden, since the area is considered a ZEPH (Special Heritage Preservation Zone) by the city of Recife, as are 32 other places in the city. There’s also no bus lines and virtually no commerce. Gardens and backyards are full of fruit, in the form of mango, sapodilla, licania, cashew and jackfruit trees, among others.
Poço’s Carnival is said to be old-timey, and it’s where the lyrical group Páraquedista Real starts their journey, to the sounds of frevo. As for other notable events, it looks like there’s a cool street fair, too. – Source (PT)
You can read some more interesting facts about Poço da Panela here (PT).