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Adolpho Lisboa Market, Manaus, AM

Protected as cultural heritage by IPHAN since July 1st, 1987, the Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market is one of the most important examples of iron architecture in the country.

Adolpho Lisboa Market, Manaus, AM

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Last update: 26/03/2020

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

In the mid-nineteenth century, the city of Manaus’ food supply was provided by regional products at a fair located on the banks of the Negro River, in a site called Ribeira dos Comestíveis, where fish, meat, flour, fruits, vegetables, grain, and other products were sold, the produce of neighboring townships.

However, as the city expanded, it was necessary to enlarge the selling point, turning it into a market, which happened in 1869, by order of the then president of the Amazon Province, João Wilkens de Matos, the Baron of Maruiá - Barão de Maruiá. With the expansion, the fair moved to the Empress’ Square - Praça da Imperatriz, where it functioned for a period of twelve years.

The development of Manaus, during the so-called golden era of rubber, led to several urban improvements.

In 1881, under Presidente Satyro de Oliveira Dias, an area of 5,400 square meters was expropriated, close to the port, located at the Barés Street in the old Remédios borough, which became the first step for the construction of a roofed public market with adequate sanitary and commercial conditions; construction began in August 1882, under the government of president Alarico José Furtado.

After several bidding notices for the undertaking of the works, the Provincial government signed a contract with Backus & Brisbin, company operating in New Orleans (USA), in Mexico and in Belém, state of Pará. The contract provided for the construction of a roofed warehouse (91,476 m2), with masonry walls supported by columns and with its main façade turned toward the Negro River.

Opened on July 15, 1883, the Public Market of Manaus had a stone pediment in neogothic style and a clock made in Germany placed above the warehouse’s skylight.  Its inner part, with twenty boxes designed for the exhibition and sales of goods, was paved with stones from Lioz (a rare type of limestone from Portugal) and cobblestones.

As time went by, the Market was deemed inadequate, and it was necessary to expand it to meet the demands of the population. In 1902, work started to expand the building; the new façade would now face the Barés Street, and not the Negro River, as before. The work was only completed in 1906, being inaugurated by the then mayor Adolpho Lisboa, who placed his name on the new façade. From that day on, the Adolpho Lisboa Market showed two façades: one toward the Negro River – where there was a dock to unload the goods, and the other turned toward the Barés Street.

With the economic crisis in the Amazon, from 1910 on, several public buildings were destroyed. The Adolpho Lisboa Market resisted mainly due to its customers. With the installation and success of the Manaus Free Zone, in the early 1970s, large national and foreign supermarket chains moved to the city, however, the citizen of Manaus remained faithful to the Great Market, as it was known, buying fresh quality products for the confection of the typical dishes of Northern Brazilian cuisine -  culinária do Norte do Brasil.

Located in the historical center of Manaus, with 3,500 square meters of constructed area, the architectural complex of the Adolpho Lisboa Market is composed of four forged iron structure pavilions imported from Europe: and labeled: Center Hall, Meat Hall, Fish Hall and Turtle Hall.

Funded by the City of Manaus, the Market underwent a small reform in 1977 and on December 2006, a larger overhaul was initiated, by means of an agreement between the City and the Superintendence of the Manaus Free Zone (Suframa). For the execution of the works, its 378 licensees were transferred to Warehouse 20, near the Privatized Port of Manaus, on the banks of the Negro River. 

Today, approximately 70 professionals are working to restore the building’s original features, while also searching for a renewal compliant with current sanitation standards.

Closed since 2006, the completion of the works at the Adolpho Lisboa Market has been postponed several times, amid controversies involving the City Hall, the City Council, the Public Ministry and the Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN).

The Lioz stones, the Market’s original floor, will be maintained in the central nave and in the pavement surrounding the building, and the rest shall be replaced by ceramic. The two forged iron kiosks with petal-shaped metal shingles will also be preserved; located on the corners of the sidewalk of the Barés Street, they were used to sell tobacco, newspapers and confectionery.

According to the Infrastructure Bureau of the City, the building will be delivered in 2012, and it will comprise two food courts and 163 boxes.

Protected as cultural heritage by IPHAN since July 1st, 1987, the Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market is one of the most important examples of iron architecture in the country.

Recife, 19 de July 2012. 

sources consulted

KOELER, Sylvia. A história e o restauro do Mercado Adolpho Lisboa. 2008.Available at: <>. Accessed: 11 jun. 2012.

LEONG, Leyla Martins. Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus – 1883. In: MERCADOS de ferro do Brasil, aromas e sabores. Brasília, D.F: Instituto Terceiro Setor, 2011. p. 51-71.

MERCADO Adolpho Lisboa. [Foto neste texto].Available at: <>. Accessed: 15 jun. 2012.

MONTEIRO, Eliena; RODRIGUES, Ayda. Fim do impasse para o Mercado Adolpho Lisboa fica para 2012. Dezembro de 2011. Available at: <>. Accessed: 11 jun. 2012.

how to quote this text

Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, AM. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at <:> . Accessed: day month year. Ex: 6 August 2009.