Archaelogy of Fernando de Noronha

Archaelogy of Fernando de Noronha
Only from 1737 on, after the expulsion of the French, which took possession of the island one year before, was Fernando de Noronha definitively occupied.
Considering the risk that an archipelago strategically situated in the Atlantic Ocean, on the way to its colony, Portugal decided to fortify it conveniently through the Pernambuco Land Division. For this purpose, forts were built in all strategic points where a possibility of disembarkation existed, thus avoiding the approach of navigators as it was occuring since the XVI century.

Ten forts were built, from which nine in the main island (the only inhabited) and only one in a rocky islet situated in front of the Saint Anthony harbour, which specific purpose was to defend the main existing natural anchorage.

From all these forts only the Nª Sª dos Remédios Fort was registered at the IPHAN in 1961. The remaining forts of the defensive system were not registered. Only with the "Documental Ransom Program about Fernando de Noronha" the registration process for the whole system was requested.

Below is a list of the archaeological sites of the main forts.

1 - Saint Anthony Fort
Description: The construction in form of an irregular four-sided polygon started in 1737. According to the original plan it should have 10 cannons for the defense of the Saint Anthony creek, which was a natural anchorage.
Place: Saint Anthony Harbour

2 - São Pedro do Boldró Fort
Description: The exact year of the construction, which is trapezium shaped, is unknown. It had three batteries for the defense of the coast section called "inside sea", between the Pico Mount and the Dois Irmãos Mount.
Location: Basinha

3 - Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Fort
Description: this is the biggest fort of the whole defensive sysytem implemented by the Portuguese in the XVIII century. It's situated on a hill between the Saint Anthony Harbour and the Cachorro Beach. Its project was based on a bridge over the Mulungu Brook and a road, which follows the hill flank up to its walls. This fort was erected over an original dutch redoubt, which was erected in 1629. It was used as a common and as a political prison and also as a soldier quarter during World War II.
Location: Remédios Village

4 - Nossa Senhora da Conceição Fort Description: The construction of the square shaped fort began in 1737 for defending the creek of the Meio and Conceção Beaches. At the end of the XIX century a hospital was built over the fort ruins.
Location: Meio Beach

5 - Sant'Ana Shelter
Description: Built in the middle of the XVIII century, the fort was put out of action at the end of the same century and transformed in a Navy Quarter. A ramp going down to the Cachorro Beach allowed using it as a harbour.
Location: Remédios Village

6 - São João Batista dos Dois Irmãos Fort
Description: Built in the middle of the XVIII century, the trapezium shaped fort had six cannons.
Location: Quixaba Village

7 - São Joaquim do Sueste Fort
Description: Built in the middle of the XVIII century, the square shaped fort had six cannons for defending the Sueste Bay.
Location: Sueste Bay.

8 - São José Fort
Description: Built between 1758 and 1761, the fort had the task to hamper any disembarkation in the secondary islands (Rasa, Rata, do Meio and Sela Gineta), as well as in the Santo Antonio Bay.
Location: São José Island

9 - Contiguous House to the Noronha Memorial
Description: A solid house, from which there are reliable pictures, was used as residence of the common prison command personnel.
If restored, it would allow the recomposition of the churchyard scenario, so improving the sight of the whole urban area in its front.

10 - Bathing House
Description: At the margin of the Mulungu Brook there were water holes, which served the resident prisoners and, from 1942 on, the military personnel, which constructed a kind of local laundry. In the XIX century it existed also a public bathroom with a suitable house for the employees of the prison.
Conservation condition: archaeological storehouse intact.
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