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Islands & Fortresses

Campeche Island

Campeche Island is located in front of a point with the same name, adjacent to the Municipal district of Florianópolis, with an area of 381.648 meters.

It has a prolonged shape, with a recess to the West, which became the perfect anchorage for schooners and ships of common size. Along that recess, there is one of the most inviting beaches. The whole Atlantic Forest landscape that surrounds the anchorage and the beach impresses intensely the tourist that gets there. There are already more than 137 registered species belonging to 57 vegetation families.

The Island contains the largest amount of rupestral inscriptions of the Southern coast of Brazil, 53% of what is known on Santa Catarina Island. Lithic workplaces were also found where stone instruments were produced, sharpened and polished.

Ratones Island

To northwest of Santa Catarina Island, in São Miguel Bay, Ratones Island is located, formed by two islets - Ratones Grande and Ratones Pequeno. Those aligned islets are high, prolonged, narrowed in the South end and 30 braces far from one another. Ratones Grande is wider and higher that Ratones Pequeno, is 600 meters long, covered by vegetation and has a small port in its Northern part.

Fortress Santo Antonio was built in the XVIII century in the slope of this port. This fortress had as purpose to keep the entrance of the North Inlet of Santa Catarina Island. Listed by the Federal Union in 1938 and restored in 1991, it receives many visitors from Brazil and of other countries.

Ratones Pequeno is 400 meters long, it is also high, prolonged and covered by vegetation and, like Ratones Grande, it shows in its elevations the form of mice, origin of its name, "Ratones" in Spanish. Those islands were always visited by its good water, for the quality of its wood and for its fertile soil.

Santo Antônio de Ratones Fortress

Santo Antônio de Ratones Fortress is placed on the northern part of Ratones Grande Island, located on the northeast side of Santa Catarina Island. It was built with two sets of cannons with purpose of keeping the North entrance of Santa Catarina Island in a triangular system of cross fire, between this and Anhatomirim and São José of Ponta Grossa fortresses. The cannons of the Fortresses used to shoot the ships that entered by the channel. The landing was only authorized after severe inspection and with the Governor's consent.

Ratones Fortress has as buildings - the Commandant's House, the Troop Barracks, the Officials' House, the Gunpowder Storehouse (ruins), the House of Palamenta, the Guardhouse, the Troop Kitchen (ruins), the House of the Flour and the Fountain.

In the XIX century the Fortresses had already lost its military function and they started to shelter sanitary centers, serving as local of isolation and quarantine in the epidemic outbreaks that devastated Vila de Desterro, current Florianópolis.

In 1938 of Santo Antonio of Ratones Fortress was Listed by the National Historical and Artistic Patrimony and, in 1991its several constructions were restored and the Federal University of Santa Catarina started to manage the Fortress, turning it into one of the most beautiful and singular tourist attractions.

Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim Fortress

Located on Anhatomirim Island, in the entrance of the North Bay, in the Municipal district of Governor Celso Ramos, Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim Fortress used to be the main fortification of the defensive system of Santa Catarina Island. Built between 1739 and 1744, its constructions totalized 2.678 m2 of built area, sheltering around 60 cannons.

In the XVIII century, Anhatomirim had as its main function to control entrance and exit of the ships in the bays of Santa Catarina Island. Already in the XIX century, Santa Cruz Fortress sheltered an isolation or quarantine post when certain epidemics used to spread in the area. The Navy even had a Military Infirmary in the island to assist its servicemen.

The Fortress also served as federal prison and dozens of islanders were shot and killed, mainly in the Federalist Revolution episode (1893/94) in the administration of Marshal Floriano Peixoto.

Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim Fortress was listed by the National Historical and Artistic Patrimony in 1938 and restored in the 1980s when it started to be managed and maintained by Santa Catarina Federal University. Currently it hosts aquaculture and oceanography stations, and cultural and artistic exhibitions.

São José da Ponta Grossa Fortress

Built in 1740, with the function of defending the North Inlet of Santa Catarina Island together with Anhatomirim and Santo Antonio Fortresses, São José da Ponta Grossa Fortress possessed in the XVIII century three armed sets of cannons with 31 artillery pieces.Those three Fortresses controlled the ships that arrived to Santa Catarina coast, which was halfway to the port of Rio de Janeiro (Vice-kingdom) and the Santíssimo Sacramento Colony in Rio da Prata.

São José Fortress is located in a privileged position, with excellent vision of the North Bay, in a point between Jurerê and Pontal beaches. Its architecture is rich in construction elements, distributed in three flat levels arranged in degrees. It is the only fortress in which the Chapel stands among the other buildings. Being 200 meters east from São José Fortress, São Caetano Set was built in 1765, with 6 cannons, aiming to garnish Jurerê and Canasvieiras beaches that were unprotected.

São Caetano Set and São José da Ponta Grossa Fortress form one of the most beautiful sceneries of Santa Catarina Island. The Fortress was listed by the National Historical and Artistic Patrimony in 1938 and restored in 1992, when it started to be administrated by Santa Catarina Federal University.

São José Fortress is headquartered at Forte beach, in the District of Canasvieiras, Northern Santa Catarina Island and distant 25 km from Florianópolis downtown.

Santa Bárbara Fortress

Florianópolis. Thus, to avoid those pirates passage by Estreito channel (continental area) and to protect Vila de Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Florianópolis) Santa Bárbara Fort was built around 1786.

Originally built in the beginning of the XX century on a rocky islet close to the beach, but the embankment of the South Bay involved that islet linking it to Santa Catarina Island.

Santa Bárbara Fort sheltered for sometime Capitania dos Portos (Ports Captainship). Currently it is Franklin Cascaes Cultural Foundation (municipal organ of culture) headquarters, which promotes several exhibitions in the place.


Santana Fortress

Picturesque and very cozy, it is simply luscious to recline on one of the Santana Fort cannons and appreciate the sensational landscape of North and South Bays and the border of the continent.

Being at the Fort you can also appreciate Hercílio Luz Bridge and from a unique perspective, since the Fort is close to the insular headboard of the bridge. When being built around 1761 and 1765 it had as objective to exchange shots with São João Fort that existed on the other border.

Restored and very well preserved, Santana Fort awaits your visit. You can also visit the Museum of Weapons "Major Antonio of Lara Ribas", which is beside the Fort.