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Modelo Market, Bahia

This was probably the first completely metallic building in Bahia.

Modelo Market, Bahia

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Last update: 30/03/2020

By: Nadja Tenório Pernambucano de Mello - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

The public market in Salvador, Bahia, known as Mercado Modelo had its building finished in late 1912. It was a rectangular building, made up of marquees. An imported metallic structure, with a roof, built with superimposed tiles, so as to allow good natural ventilation and illumination.

This was probably the first completely metallic building in Bahia.

The simplicity of its geometric form and the material used (metallic profiles and zinc plates) were not well accepted in the capital of Bahia.

The new Market soon became one of the most important supply centers of the city. The Market commercialized wholesale and retail and the range of products was enormous. There were also many services in its interior, especially restaurants and bars.

The history of the Modelo Market was marked by successive fires of smaller and greater proportions. One of them was in the original building, which used to work next to Rua Chile. This building was destroyed by fire in 1969, and this was the cause of the change to Cayru Square, opposite the Market ramp, where the boats still dock, with the façade towards the Lacerda Lift, in an area between the Casa Alfândega and the School of Navy Apprentices.

The Modelo Market is a traditional center for commercialization with the most varied types of art craft, from ceramic pieces, wood, lace, straw and even jewels with semi-precious stones, silver, leather. One of the businesses that is still present today is the so called branch of "fundamentos do candomblé", where amulets, objects of worship, smokers, roots, leaves may be found there. Some of those elements have a religious function, in the candomblé, in umbanda or are simply medicinal. It is also a meeting point for intellectuals, actors, poets, singers besides being an artistic and cultural space in the city. And it cannot be forgotten that it is one of the main touristic points in Salvador.


Recife, 29 March 2004.
(Updated on 18 August 2009).

sources consulted

AZEVEDO, Paulo Ormindo de. A alfândega e o mercado: memória e restauração. Salvador: Secretaria de Planejamento, Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado da Bahia, 1985.

SÓ se vê na Bahia. Available at: Access on : 4 mar. 2004

MERCADO Modelo de Salvador. Available at: Access on: 4 Mar. 2004.

how to quote this text

Source: MELLO, Nadja Tenório Pernambucano de. Mercado Modelo, Salvador, Bahia. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife. Available at <>: . Access on: day month year. Ex: 6 Aug. 2009.