Construction of the Encruzilhada (Crossroads) Market began in March 1924, with its inauguration on 18 October of the same year by the Governor at the time, Sérgio Loreto.
The project also incorporated the creation of a garden in the square in front of the market and a pavilion to hold ‘retretas’ (popular marching bands concerts in public squares), with trees and pavements.
Instead of this construction, which besides being small did not meet satisfactory hygienic standards, on 9 December 1950 a new building for the market was inaugurated by the State Governor of the time, Alexandre José Barbosa Lima Sobrinho. It had a covered area of 2,800m2; 153 stalls, was spacious and well-lit, with signage indicating the different types of commerce; 200m2 of gardens, artificial granite, ceramic and granite flooring; tiled walls for cleanliness and hygienic concerns; two refrigerated rooms to avoid the spoiling of food such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables; eighteen bathrooms, bars, kitchens and warehouses. It was built on concrete slabs, while the upper level was reserved for the Market’s administration.
Considered, at the time, a referential architectural design for its category in Brazil, the inauguration was attended by engineers and technicians from all over the country who were participating in the Engineering Week being held in Recife, as well as various authorities. The ribbon was cut by the then-President of the National Council of Engineering, Morales de los Rios.
In 1998, the Encruzilhada Market under went reforms and was reopened once again. The building, gardens and pavements were refurbished; the water drainage system, which was composed of clay pipes, was replaced by PVC piping; new bathrooms were installed with well-equipped washing facilities.
Today its clientele is composed of judges, politicians, lawyers, intellectuals and common people. In its stalls, traditional dishes from Pernambuco cuisine are served at breakfast and commercial lunch time. In the Food Court, in the south wing, fish stews or dishes made with cod can be savoured.
In its stalls, fruit, vegetables, grains, animal food, cages, aquariums, haberdashery, handicrafts, cold cuts, meats, birds and fish are sold, among other products. There are 10 fishmongers who sell, on a weekly basis, over four tonnes of fish and 230 kilograms of crustaceans.
According to information from the designer Waldemiro Lima, its covered area surpasses that of the São José Market by over 300 square metres.
Encruzilhada Market is located on Dr José Maria St, in the Encruzilhada neighbourhood and, despite undergoing several reforms, its original architectural characteristics have not been altered.
It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 6am to 6pm, and on Sundays from 6am to noon.
Recife, 7 November 2006.
Translated by Peter Leamy, December 2011
DOCUMENTÁRIO de uma administração: governo Barbosa Lima Sobrinho, fevereiro 1948 –janeiro 1951: estado de Pernambuco. [Recife, 1951?]. Não paginado.
MERCADO da Encruzilhada. Revista de Pernambuco, Recife, ano 1, n.2, [s.p.], ago. 1924.
MERCADO da Encruzilhada. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 out. 2006.
MERCADOS. Disponível em:. Acesso em: 20 out. 2006
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Source: GASPAR, Encruzilhada Market. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at: <https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009