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Destination Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina.
The city market in downtown Florianópolis.
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Left: the Brazilian mainland; right: downtown
Florianópolis on the Santa Catarina Island
Mercado Público (photo prefeitura Florianópolis)
On a Sunday morning, more than ten thousand kilometers away from the Netherlands, in southwestern direction, across the equator and the Atlantic Ocean, Vitór and I were about to explore the historical and cultural center of the city of Florianópolis. We arrived near the center by bus, at almost 9 AM. It was quiet in the streets. Only a few buses, taxis and cars were on the wide avenue parallel to the center. We crossed the avenue, and we walked towards an obvious yellow building. It was Mercado Público – Public Market -, an important historical-cultural monument in the heart of the city; the building is considered as the heart, in which artists, bohemians and intellectuals meet since a long time. The place where you can buy fresh fish, where you may taste delicious fish dishes served in one of the restaurants, were you may drink some beers in one of the cozy bars. The picturesque building with its large courtyard provides an animated and peaceful atmosphere. Perhaps the bright yellow color of the market building strengthens the animated atmosphere. Although the courtyard was deserted and the buildings were closed, I could well imagine how popular this location should be at rush hours.
The central courtyard of Mercado Público,
surrounded by a number of shops, bars,
The Mercado Público has an interesting history. In 1845, when Emperor Dom Pedro I visited the location, it was a meeting point for residents and traders. In 1851, the first market was created, not far from the actual Mercado Público, with the auction next to it. In 1899, these markets were replaced by the first wing of the actual market building. In 1915, the second wing and the towers were added. In 1986, the building was restored in the original eclectic style. In 2005, a big fire destroyed a large part of one wing of the Mercado, which is now rebuilt.
Detail of the Mercado Público
Mercado Público by night
You can still buy fresh ingredients.
Small bars in the corridor
A colorful folkloric drawing.
Mercado Público in the thirties of the
Milk vendors, who carried milk from the
fazendas of the island to the city.
A common image at the turn of the 20th century.
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom