Mauritsstad

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Mauritsstad in 1645, engraving from Peter Schenk, from the book Rerum in Brasilia et alibi gestarum van Casparus Barlaeus, based on a drawing by Frans Post.
Watercolour chart of the cities of Mauritsstad and Recife in the 17th century.

Mauritsstad (or Mauritius) was the capital of Dutch Brazil, and is now a part of the Brazilian city of Recife.

The city was built on the island of Antonio Vaz opposite Recife, and designed by architect Pieter Post. It was named after Governor Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, who had founded the city and the adjoining palace Vrijburgh. Mauritsstad was the cultural center of the New World, with the first botanical garden and the first zoo in America, and a museum with three hundred stuffed monkeys. The city's Jewish population constructed the first synagogue in the Americas.