The two main attractions are Brazil's oldest church, Igreja dos Santos Cosme e Damião, and the Franciscan monastery of Santo Antônio. A five-minute walk separates the two historical buildings. The Museu Histórico and the Convento Sagrado Coração de Jesus are located next-door to Cosme e Damião church.
Igreja dos Santos Cosme e Damião (1535), Saints Cosmas and Damian Church, Brazil's oldest church.
Convento Franciscano de Santo Antônio (1585) and Pinacoteca (1705), beautiful colonial monastery and art collection. The Pinacoteca has Latin America's largest collection of Barroque paintings. Located at Rua Barbosa Lima; tel.: (55) (81) 3548-0258. Open M-F, 8AM-5:30PM; Saturday-Sunday, 9AM-4PM. At Rua Dantas Barreto, s/n. A precious historical, architetonic and artistic jewel of Brazil.
Convento do Sagrado Coração de Jesus (1742), Jesus' Sacred Heart Monastery, Brazilian seat of Sisters of Jesus' Sacred Heart religious order. Style: Barroque.
Casa de Câmara e Cadeia (1564). First local Government House in Brazil, was destroyed by the Dutch in 1640 and reconstructed in the late 17th century. It was the seat of the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, including the jail house. It is also know at the Emperor's House (Casa do Imperador) due to the 1859 visit of Emperor Dom Pedro II.
Museu Histórico. Founded in 1954, it occupies three residential houses from 19th century. Exhibitions inlcude religous, numimastic and weaponry pieces. Open Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM; Saturday-Sunday, 9AM-noon. At Rua Barbosa Lima, 18. Tel.: (81) 3543.0435 (ext. 236).
Capela de São Sebastião (1735), Saint Sebastian Chapel. Sytle: "Maneirista", with barroque influence.
Capela de Nossa Senhora do Livramento (1774), Our Lady of Freedom Chapel. Restored in 1972 and 1984. Style: Barroque. At Rua Dantas Barreto.
Capela de Nossa Senhroa da Conceição
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem do Pasmado
Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Dores
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário
Igreja de São José
Marco de Pedra (1535), stone column erected by Duarte Coelho upon arrival in Brazil. Indicated the dividing line between the Captaincies of Pernambuco and Itamaracá. Among the oldest still standing structures built by the Portuguese in all of Brazil.
Ruins of Igreja da Misericórdia
Engenho Monjope (mid 1700s), historical sugarcane plantation. Emperor Dom Pedro II spent the night of 5 December 1859 at Engenho Monjope.
Sitio dos Marcos, place where some of the first contacts between Europeans and Native Brazilians occurred in the 1500s. In 1516, Cristovão Jacques erected the "Feitoria de Pernambuco". In 1535, Duarte Coelho arrived with first settlers.
Gamboa/Mangue-Seco beaches and boat ride to Coroa do Avião and Itamaracá Island.
Water-sports in Nova Cruz district (water-skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing).
Buscada de São Gonçalo (January, moving holiday): Nautical religous procession, dating from 1861. Leaves from Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Dores, in the Nova Cruz district of Igarassu and goes to the pier of the neighboring town of Itapissuma. Countless fishing boats, recreational boats and canoes. Live music.
Hotel Gavoa Praia, Rua Bela Vista, s/nº, Nova Cruz, tel.: (55) (81) 3543-7777.