One of the most beautiful buildings in Pernambuco is the Governor's Palace, better known as the Palace of "Campo das Princesas" (or, Palace of the Princess' Garden). Together with the Santa Isabel Theater and the Palace of Justice, the Governor's house is part of the "Praça da República" (or, Republic Square), beeing the administrative seat of the executive Government of Pernambuco. Further, it is a very interesting touristic destination in Recife, open to public visitation upon pre-scheduling.
Originally designed in 1786 by Governor José César Meneses, it started being built in 1841 by the engineer Morais Âncora, under the command of Governor Francisco do Rego Barros. Before that, in the same location, you could find the "Friburgo Palace" -or, in Dutch, Vrijburg- built by the Dutch Government during the invasion in Pernambuco. However, this one was destroyed during battles between Portuguese and Dutch.
Its name finds its origins in 1859 when the Palace was renovated in order to host Emperor Dom Pedro II, his wife, and daughters. In honor of the princesses, the name was given at first to the Palace's garden but then referred to the whole building. Another fun fact: in front of the Palace, there a secular Baobab Tree planted, which possibly inspired the writer Saint Exupéry as he passed through Recife before writing The Little Prince.
Usually, the visits take place on Thursdays and Fridays from 9 am to 11 am, and Sundays from 10 am to 12 pm, in small groups followed by a guide. But keep in mind that this is a functional public building, so you have to respect the dress code: during the weekdays you have to wear long pants, T-shirts, and shoes. Shorts and flip-flops are only allowed on Sundays. Each visit has a limit of 75 registrations, which must be made by mail to the official e-mail address: visitapalacio@governórcio.pe.gov.br.
The Palace of Campo das Princesas should definitely be added to your agenda upon visiting Pernambuco. It's an undoubtedly memorable experience.
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