History of Fernando de Noronha

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha has a history that dates 500 years ago. Originally known as the Ilha da Quaresma in Portuguese, or the Lent Island, the archipelago was sighted by several explorers from Portugal in 1501, 1502, and 1503.

An archipelago of 21 islets and islands, Fernando de Noronha has served as headquarters to several military troops during the war until 1654 when it became the last fort given up by the Dutch to the Portuguese.

Abandoned completely and left uninhabited in 1736, the island was taken over by the French East Indies Company and had it renamed as Isle Dauphine. A year after the take over though, the French were expelled in the territory and the island was occupied by Portugal. This was then that the island was decided to be secured from future attacks. Thus, strategically built on areas posing possible threats on the island were 10 forts linked by a network of roads made of stone.

And although Brazil already got its independence in 1822, the archipelago only had very few changes.

In the year 1988, with the goal of preserving and protecting Fernando de Noronha’s sea and land environment, three-fourth of the archipelago’s area was declared as a national park for maritime. In 2001, along with Rocas Atoll, it got recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.