segunda-feira, 28 de março de 2011

Reis Magos Fort

The Fortaleza da Barra do Rio Grande, popularly known as the Forte dos Reis Magos, or Reis Magos Fort, located in Natal in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

The fortress was the landmark for the city - founded in December 25, 1599 - in the right-hand side of the river Potengi (today near the Ponte Newton Navarro). It was named because of the date of commencement of its construction, January 6, 1598, Three Kings Day



In the context of Philippine Dynasty, when the conquest of the coast of northeastern Brazil, then threatened by French privateers that there trafficked Brazil wood (Caesalpinia echinata), the mouth of the Rio Grande (North) was reached by Portuguese troops under the command of Captain General of Pernambuco, Manuel de Mascarenhas Homem, with orders to start a fortification.

To defend the camp by the beach, started a stockade fence and mud, with plants in circular shape, stylish indigenous, January 6, 1598 (Three Kings Day), while they proceeded to the final site selection the fortifications ordered by the Crown: a reef at the entrance of the bar, isolated at high tide and in the tide, allowing communication with the mainland
The strong seiscentista

Detail map of Rio Grande do Norte in the book that gives reason to the State of Brazil (c. 1616) with the sole of Forte dos Reis Magos.

The plan of the new fort, drawn on United in 1597, attributed to the Jesuit priest Gaspar de Samperes (or Samperes Gonçalves) and disciple of the Italian military architect Giovanni Battista Antonelli, presented the classical form of the strong maritime seventeenth century: a star polygon, with concave angle toward the North, built in "taypa, and staked area littered loose." His works were entrusted to its first commander, Jeronimo de Albuquerque Maranhão (1548-1618).

Its second commander was John Roberts Colaço and the fortification was able to defend in early 1602, artillery and garrisoned by a detachment of two hundred men. Is represented by John Teixeira Albernaz, the old, in the work assigned to Diogo de Campos Moreno, in the upper left corner of the map of the Rio Grande as "Tears of the fort that defends the bar of the Rio Grande" (Petipa fathoms in class) , strapped with 10 pieces on their trucks, throwing the barbette. This iconography already reflects the reconstruction works carried out from 1614, with the plant manager and chief engineer of the works of fortification of Brazil, Francisco de Frias Mosque (1603-1634), when it acquired the current conformation. On occasion, its walls were improved, receiving the counter and counters reinforcement from the sea, as well as internal works of housing in buildings of two floors, which were completed in 1628.

The domain Netherlands

After a first attempt of robbery by Vandenbourg, frustrated in December 1631, December 1633 starts new invasion Netherlands, coming from Recife in fifteen ships, a troop of 800 soldiers landed at Ponta Negra under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Byma , surrounding the fort in a combined land and naval operations. Garrisoned by 85 men under the command of Captain Pedro Gouveia, and strapped for nine pieces of bronze and iron 22, after a week of harassment, wounded the commander of the square, by default this is the surrender negotiated by some occupants, including Domingos Fernandes Calabar (1609-1635). Occupied 12 December 1633 to February 1654, with the name Ceulen Castle (Kasteel Keulen), tribute to van Natthijs Ceulen, one of the leaders of collegiate WOC in Brazil from 1633 to 1634. Captain Joris Garstman was the first Dutchman to command it and Count Maurice of Nassau (1604-1679) had to repair it (1638).

This is subject to strong high dunes which are a musket shot, and are as high as you can see them by the gunboats embankment, and then take the bullet of the shoe to the foot of the castle. When we surround him, sat our artillery on the dunes, and made a fire so that no one could stay on the wall. But this defect was remedied by lifting up on the front wall, against the stone parapet, another land-proof cannon, and with it all the stronger from the top is covered and guarded.

And because of this strong tide is surrounded by water and have to endure the brunt of the sea, is a little damaged at the bottom, which will repair, building stone and lime a new base.

The castle is well provided with artillery, besides the parts that were taken there, they set him two size 4, which were on the sailing ships that found in the river when we were surrounded. "

It was in the dungeons of this square that the former governor of Para and Maranhao, Bento Maciel Parente, ended his days, trapped against the laws of war, after the capitulation of São Luís (February 1, 1642). In 1654, after the capitulation of the WOC in Recife, when Colonel Francisco de Figueroa, by order of General Baker comes to occupy this fortress, it had been abandoned by the forces of Holland.

The fortification in the nineteenth century

The strong dependencies served as a political prison for those involved in the Pernambuco Revolution of 1817. Stood out among them their leader in Rio Grande do Norte, André de Albuquerque, who died in one of its cells, a victim of injury, that same year.

During the First World War (1914 - 1918) the fort was garrisoned by an Independent Battery Coast Artillery.

Was listed by Heritage since 1949 and integrated into the Foundation's assets in 1965 José Augusto.

Restored with the Church of St. Anthony's Cathedral, the Museum of Sobradinho and the Government Palace, the Forte dos Reis Magos integrates a number of large urban expression in terms of art and historical-cultural Christmas. Currently located in Praia do Forte, the Fortress houses a history museum, and is considered one of the attractions preferred by tourists in Natal.


The current shows strong irregular polygonal shape, built in stone masonry and lime. Around the embankment under the walls, are willing to Home Command, the Headquarters and Deposits, center, stands a building of square plan, two floors:

* On the lower floor, lies the Chapel, with arched openings on;
* At the top, externally accessible by a staircase in two flights and through a door lintel line, offers to the Powder House, capped by a pyramidal summit. The vertices of this pyramid, corners, cornice and pinnacle complete the set.

In embankment opens also the Cistern.

Access to the fort is via a walkway, the walkway to the beach and, thereafter, through an archway on the right, going out into the hallway. Another staircase leads to the embankment and to the gate to the square.

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