Inaugurated on December 9, 1912, the Mercado Modelo functioned as the principal centre of supplies for the city of Salvador. It was the primary location for the commercialization of foods and general goods such as fruits, greens, meats, fowls, fish, flours, salted prawns, the freshly collected peppers, cigars of Recôncavo and cachaças (cane spirits) stored in artesenal containers from all over Bahia. Products that arrived from Recôncavo in the boats and from the small farms that surrounded the city.
The first permanent building that established the presence of the Mercado Modelo stood between the Casa da Alfândega (Customs House), nowadays the site of the School of Marine Aprentices, in front of the entrance ramp to the Mercado Modelo. In 1969, the original market construction was completely destroyed by fire. Only in 1971, after one more fire, the Mercado Modelo was changed to the Customs House, the impressive Federal building, and was declared a national historic and artistic monument by IPHAN in 1966. The building reproduces traditional neo-classic forms of the second half of the 19th Century, with a square architectural plan and circular construction behind, which served originaly as a docking point for the ships that transported goods.
With this change of location, and under pressure from CEASA and the supermarkets that started to proliferate in the cities, the Mercado Modelo changed its commercial focus from food and general products to the sale of handmade arts and crafts and products typical of Bahia, under adminstration by the Municipal Council.
The history of the Mercado Modelo is marked by tragedies provoked by great fires. The last of those occured in 1984, already in the current building, that was totally restored in keeping with the original architectural plan. Some modifications were introduced, however, such as pre-moulded concrete forms, a covering of colonial tiles and new fire prevention equipment..
and discover more from the fires at Mercado Modelo.
and discover more from the curiosities and legends about Mercado Modelo.