Forte São Tiago das Cinco Pontas is one of the most expressive monuments of the Brazilian colonial heritage. Built in 1630, during the Dutch occupation in the areas where today are the cities of Recife and Olinda, the space houses the Recife City Museum, which has in its collection photographs, maps and archaeological fragments that represent the history of urban evolution of Recife from the seventeenth century to present days. The fort is located in the current São José neighborhood, next to the old Santa Rita Bus Station, and competes together with 18 other Brazilian fortresses for the title of World Heritage by UNESCO.
Although the monument was named after Frederik Hendrik - Prince of Orange - it soon earned the nickname Five Ends Fort because of its pentagonal shape. The most important objectives of the fortress were to guarantee the population the supply of drinking water by protecting the cacimbas (Brazilian name of vital point for the water supply of Recife), and to prevent enemy ships from circulating through the waters of the Capibaribe River and reaching the Barreta dos Afogados (through an existing passage in the reefs) and, from there, escaping with the boats loaded with sugar.
In 1654, however, the Portuguese resistance forces defeated the Flemish troops and occupied the fort. During this period, the first major reform of the fort began, rebuilt in stone and lime, and now only four-pointed - its original structure was made of wood, earthen and clay. The work was completed in 1684, when the fortification was renamed Forte de São Tiago, because there is inside a small chapel dedicated to St. James the Greater, one of its patron saints. However, the name Five Ends, already consolidated, remains today.
With Recife´s expansion, the fortress lost its defense meaning and began to have new uses: during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries served as general deposit and prison. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it housed the headquarters of the Quartel General Militar, being listed as a national heritage in 1938. In the late 1970s, the fort underwent another major restructuring to host the facilities of the Recife City Museum, which is located there since 1982.
Forte São Tiago das Cinco Pontas has an internal courtyard, several heavy-grid cells made of iron, and a hidden tunnel designed for the Dutch escape if they were invaded. The building walls, on the other hand, are cut out where the old bronze cannons appear. It is possible to appreciate a beautiful gate at the fortress entrance, all made of hardwood, as well as its doors and windows.
And to add more beauty to the place, the Neoenergia Institute, in partnership with Recife Municipality, installed, in 2018, a new lighting system in the monument, which enhances the fortification wall, the scene of battles between Portuguese and Dutch. The revitalization of the façade literally sheds light on a part of Colonial Brazil's history and contributes to the preservation of the country's artistic and cultural memory.
The revitalization promoted by the Neoenergia Institute values the historical importance of the monument. In addition to preserving the artistic and cultural heritage, the newly installed LED lighting system provides energy savings of over 30% compared to the old lighting project. The façade is now illuminated by 66 light projectors that allow the exchange of color shades, enabling the engagement of urban equipment to commemorative and social dates. Ornamental posts installed in the building's garden also received new efficient lamps.
The lighting project delivery of Forte das Cinco Pontas represents the Neoenergia Institute's commitment to Brazilian historical, artistic and cultural values, in line with the worldwide actions developed by the Iberdrola Group Foundations.