Recife, Or Pernambuco, a maritime city of Brazil, capital of the province of Pernambuco, 1,150 m. N. E. of Rio de Janeiro; lat. 8° 4' S., lon. 34° 50' W.; pop. about 100,000. It is at the common mouth of the rivers Beberibe and Capibaribe, which form a delta comprising several islands, and is divided into three quarters, Boa Vista, São Antonio, and Recife proper, united by bridges. Many of the streets are regular, particularly in Boa Vista, well paved, and lighted with gas; and the houses are partly of brick, with three and four stories. Besides handsome parish churches, there are several others, mostly attached to convents; the remaining edifices of note are the governor's and bishop's palaces, the city hall and provincial government buildings, the arsenal, custom house, lazaretto and other hospitals, and benevolent institutions. There are a lyceum, a law school, and a provincial gymnasium. The port, defended by several forts, is protected by a reef (whence the name Recife), to which masonry has been added. A breach in the reef forms the entrance to the river port, which, though very commodious, is inaccessible to craft of over 700 tons, owing to a sand bank. Recife has three banks, flourishing tobacco, soap, and paper factories, and two machine shops.
The total value of the exports in the year 1872-'3 was $12,808,788, the staples being cotton, sugar, molasses, rum, and hides. The Pernambuco and São Francisco railway extends S. E. from the city. The town is the western terminus of the submarine cable from Lisbon, completed in June, 1874. It was founded about 1530, by Duarte Coelho, and erected into a bishopric in 1676. The English occupied it in 1595; it was seized by the Dutch in 1629; and it has repeatedly been the scene of insurrections, particularly in 1661 and 1710.