THE BRAZILIAN ALCATRAZ:
Get to know the beautiful place that already served as a fortress for Santa Catarina defense, prison, space for executions and sanatorium.
The region of Florianópolis is known for its beaches and fascinating nature, but know that there are many more attractions in this paradise.
Among these attractions, we will highlight today the history and the natural beauties that you can find in the region, more precisely in Ilha de Anhatomirim, a place also known as the “Brazilian Alcatraz”.
It is one of the main sights of Santa Catarina, attracting thousands of people every year interested in the magic of the Island and the fun of the boat trips that take them there, like the Pirate Boat Ride.
Fascinating from its name that comes from the Tupi and means “Island of the Little Devil”, it has had several functions throughout history, let’s highlight the most interesting throughout this post
The Island´s Data
But first we go to its data, it is located in the Municipality of Governador Celso Ramos, North Bay of the state of Santa Catarina, near Florianópolis, being possible to make a complete tour by her leaving Canasvieiras and returning in about 3 hours, still taking advantage of other islands and visuals in the surroundings, or in 5 hours with lunch stop.
It is a rocky island of 4.5 hectares of extension and rich in biodiversity, mainly marine, since many stars of the sea, dolphins and other fishes inhabit the 3 beaches that located in the island.
The AMAZING History
Historically, Anhatomirim is one of the first places of the Brazilian south to be occupied by the European colonizers, more precisely the Portuguese, thanks to its strategic location for the defense of Florianópolis, called Desterro during the time.
The Portuguese had an interest in defending Floripa from invasions from other countries, mainly from Spain, so four great fortresses were created, the Fortress Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim being the first.
Thus emerged the first function of the Island: to serve as a defense of the Santa Catarina coast with its various cannons and soldiers. This one that was not successful, inclusively, was invaded and occupied by at least 8 months by Spaniards.
Until a treaty between Portugal and Spain, he returned the island to the Portuguese on condition that it was no longer used as a war base.
During the War of Paraguay (1865 to 1870), his other function arose: prison.
Resembling Alcatraz Island, it has been a prison several times throughout history for being isolated from civilization and difficult to escape.
It was also occupied by rebels during the Imperialist Revolution (1892 to 1895) against the president of the time, until then the rebels were arrested and executed in the place, approximately 170 people.
Later in the 19th century, Fortaleza served as a sanatorium for contagious diseases and epidemics, supervising the arriving vessels and also being used as quarantine for the sick.
In World War II, it received armaments and was occupied militarily, however, soon after the end of the war was deactivated.
Finally, during the 70’s the island was recovered and today is one of the main historical and tourist points of Brazil.
Tourism in the Island
Currently, Anhatomirim Island is an environmental protection area (APA) and the Santa Cruz Fortress is under the guardianship and guardianship of the Federal University of Santaca Catarina (UFSC) that welcomes and guides tourists around the island and its history.
There UFSC charges a visitation fee used to preserve the place:
- R $ 8,00 (eight reais), normal entry;
- R $ 4.00 (four reais) for school-age children and adult students, through an identification card;
- Free for children under 5 years and people over 60 years old upon presentation of ID.
- The visitation fee can only be paid in cash.
Access to the island is only possible by boats, and the most fun and recommended way to get there is by Escuna Martin, check the itinerary:
– We start from the Canasvieiras sugar mill, located in the north of the island of Florianópolis / SC;
– We go to the Golfinhos Bay, without stopping, overlooking the most beautiful beaches of Santa Catarina: Jurerê, Jurerê Internacional, Daniela, Praia do Forte and the fortress of São José da Ponta Grossa;
– Lunch at fishermen’s restaurant on the Coast of Armação, Governador Celso Ramos, which can be buffet free and a la carte with an approximate duration of one hour;
– We will visit the Fort of Santa Cruz on the famous island of Anhatomirim where a guide will tell the fascinating history of the fortress in a one hour stop to dazzle the place;
– Sea bath near the French Island of about 15 minutes;
– We will return to the starting point, the sugar mill of Canasvieiras, with an unforgettable memory.