THE ABC OF THE MODEL MARKET
THE FIRST LOCATION (number 1 on the map)
1911 - Started to be constructed.
1912 - Was inaugurated on 9th December.
REFORMS OF THE FIRST LOCATION (number 1 on the map)
1915 - In August the Municipal Government opened a competition for its reform and extention. The only proposal was from the engineers Filinto Santoro and Portella Passos, who were contracted. The Model Market gained, this way, its known architecture, in an ecletic style.
1917 - Suffered the first fire with partial damages.
1922 - Second fire destroyed a great part of its structure.
1943 - Third fire occurred with partial damages.
1945 - M Camafeu de Oxóssi got his first stall in the Model Market (read more about him here.
1968 - The Queen Elizabeth visited the old Model Market on the 2nd November (read more below).
1969 - On the 1st August the last fire occurred, which destroyed completely the old Model Market (read more below).
1972 - A sculpture (1 on the map, photo below) Fountain of the Market Ramp (or Monument to the City of Salvador) was erected in 1972 on the spot by Mário Cravo.
THE SECOND LOCATION - Popular Market (number 2 on the map) of Boys' Water* (number 3 on the map)
1942 - Sabemos que M Waldemar começou vender seus berimbaus na feira Água de Meninos (veja a foto abaixo).
1964 - Incêndio da Feira de Água de Meninos.
1969 - Depois de incêndio do antigo Mercado Modelo o mercado foi temporalmente mudado para onde ficou o antigo Feira Água de Meninos (veja a foto abaixo) e começou a ser chamado Mercado Popular de Água de Meninos. Acabou de ficar até depois de novo mercado aberto na antiga casa da Alfândega.
* Name given to a place that had a natural water spring where a great number of boys went to bath themselves. In the 18th century, the municipal government had a public spout built there to supply the population, called Fountain of Boys' Water.
THE THIRD LOCATION (number 4 on the map)
1971 - On the 2nd February a new Model Market was inaugurated in the old Customs house*. The same year M Camafeu de Oxóssi opened, on the side of his wife Toninha, a restaurant there.
1984 - Fire of the new market.
* Third Customs House in Salvador - opened in 1861.
The locations of the Market
A queen cried over the fire of the Brasília Park (?)
Correio Popular, Campinas (SP), 24th Aug 1969
Report of Nair de Santana Moscoso
The fire of the folkloric Bahian market had internacional repercussions. Beautiful in it's exterior, very original and rare internally, it was visited by the most famous people of the whole world: writesrs, artists, cinematographers, scientists, governors and presidents and even noble people of blue blood, having received, even the queen Elizabeth II and her court, that no tourist did escape to include it in their travel rutine.
When on her trip last year to the Good Land, the welcoming warmth they tributed her was exceptional. They painted the old Market. To the front of it a gigantic sisal carpet, covered entirely with flowers for her to pass by. And while the Queen went through the various stalls, accompanied by the Governor, stopping here and there to examine the objects that called her attention the most, hailed with cries of "save the Queen" by the people outside, inside the Market handclaps, flowers and a musical background of a magical samba, made at the last minute by Camafeu de Oxóssi - as a form of goodby - played by a band of berimbau players...
And to the Prince Philip was given an indigenous Berimbau, all varnished and painted with various colors and to the Queen, a gigantic Bauble, of real silver, weighing almost two kilos, with graprefruit, pineapple, pine cone, fish, strawberry guava, golden grass, coconut to fetch water, pandeiro, jug and pomegranate, with a dedication on a plaque, also made of silver: "To her, Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A humble souavenir of your Majesty's visit to the Model Market of Salvador Bahia Brazil, from the stall holden of the Market - 2nd november 1968".
All this made the Queen smile with emotion and to declare to the Governor: "this is one of the happiest moments of my life". "Happy moments" of the life of one of the most powerful crowned heads of our days, spent in the Model Market of Bahia...
And now, having just heared about the evil that destroyed the old Market "humanized on the Bahian landscape", - as all affirmed it to be - hurried to send in her name and the name of the English court, her true and sincere condolences...
What was the Model Market
Beautiful building, dominating the extensive area of the Lower City, who goes down with the Lacerda Elevator, the Mountain Hillside or the Contoure Avenue, was presented with "it" and there was no tourist who weren't fascinated, leaving there with pockets full of beautiful and original things, of which made part the "famous souvenirs of Bahia" that were carried years on a thread, around the world.
Exposed in a promiscuity, we encountered them on the side of common things in every market, as beans, rice or potato and even tasty and different fruits, besides chilli pepper and the supreme Dende Oil and the industrialized shrimp, that rule in the most Bahian delicacies.
And next to the number of fabulous little objects, the most varied, the talismans of jacaranda, rue or mother-of-pearl... or simply from Guinea, besides certain types of original jewels, made of every imaginable material, including gold and silver and semi-precious and precious stones, of the most beautiful aspect and color...
And if we leave with full bags, the pockets would not leave too empty, because notwithstanding the too expensive life in Salvador, the Bahian folk artifacts don't cost much, given their multiplicity and everything inside there is, usually, a product of folk art. The Bauble without account... The painter Berimbaus of all sizes and the other instruments to accompany Capoeira. Bags and baskets of the most varied type: of coconut, of sisal, of jacaranda, of ouricuri, besides a world of typical foods on diverse stalls, that the ones from outside, as well as the ones from the city taste pleasantly.
And this exotism and disparity of objects that are put on the sale, is the thing that give this unique color to everything, alias, in this Bahia, that Stephan Zweig, in one of his visits called "the City of Colors"...
"Little corner for the visitors"
"Faith in God"
And another number of suggestive names topped all the stalls of the Model Market (around 280) and all the fire destroyed with violence, in a short time of three hours, at a last July's Friday dawn.
The people of Salvador are mourning, one could say, with the loss of their folkloric Model Market, which destruction left in helplessness around a million people and which impact made people cry on the streets.
Maria de S. Pedro escaped with life
Only escaped unharmed from the flames, as a miracle, the "Stall (Restaurant) Maria de S. Pedro". Looks like immortality was the destiny of the famous stall-owner, the culinary queen of Bahia, the one that had to fly to Rio de Janeiro many times, invited by the presidents of the Republic, to prepare specially typical [Bahian?] banquetes. And although she is dead for a handful years already, MARIA DE S. PEDRO continues alive in everything when it comes to the leaflets and books of tourists of the Good Land, written in every language, immortalized by the famous Bahian kitchen. And alive continues its name in letters [..] on the plaque of the Stall that was hers and that her daughter, lets say successor and student, perpetuates with the culinary inclinations that she herited from her Mother.
And even the fire respected MARIA DE S. PEDRO, so that her Stall was the only one that was left.
Spectre of the Model Market
In this second Saturday that went by - without "it" - the Bahian people continues under the impact of the fire that devoured one of the its rarest and most original heritage. And from the immense brazier that all its interior turned, the ashes still glowed many days later and there were even sparse live flames. Surrounded day and night by guards and isolated by a protecting rope, it continues for the whole day as a painful spectacle to the eyes of the bahians and visiting friends who are giving it the last goodby. And it was like this that we waved to it [..] crying seeing it in this way, the people prohibited to get close to it, as if "in quarantine" of some contagious illness...
Solidarity and promises to help
The governor Luiz Viana Filho and the Mayor Antonio Carlos Magalhães cried together with the stall-owners, that lost with the evil all their belongings (having stalls O Governador Luiz Viana Filho e o Prefeito Antonio Carlos Magalhães juntos choraram com os barraqueiros, que perderam com o sinistro, todos os seus haveres (havendo barracas
as valuable as [..] cruzeios [..] in biggest part were not insured. Only the [..] Market building, owned by the Mayor, for [..] old millions.
And a Market with better conditions of comfort and bigger restrooms (they were promised double) besides urgency measures, for the temporary funcioning of the stalls in the place to be opened as Popular Market, in the grounds of the old Boys' Water (that also some time ago was destroyed by the fire), while the authorities are looking to investigate what's responsible for the tragedy, that many don't want to accept as merely a work of chance...
The beautiful Contôrno Avenue - plan that is being realized in hurry, in the new Bahia, - will continue splendidly in the grounds of the ex-Model Market, that being a veteran of more than a century of existence, was destroyed in only three hours, the fire starting in the center and extending to the outsides, leaving, however intact the external walls...
Bahia without Model Market - unique in the world
But it will be costly for the bahians to accept this.
It was that affirmation of the students, when, on the first Saturday without Model Market (that was the day of the most movement) were walking to every place substituting for the lime cocktails "with lambretas" (little mollusks, the name of the "snack", that accompanied the famous "cocktails", by the noticiaries of the newspapers and that caused so much uproar between the Chief of Police and the students, when it was prohibited).
Intellectuals, students, tourists, met on the first "Saturday without Model Market", in the afternoon, to the sound of the atabaques and berimbaus, in samba de rodas and set themselves temporarily up in Taba dos Orixás, in Vale do Canela, to "drown the sorrows" and forgot the destruction of what they sentimentally "playing with words" told to be the "model of markets"...
Without seeing its flaws, loving the old Market, with its own life in the city and with its uncomparable exotism - as everybody, nevertheless - are finding it difficult to accept it missing, as well as to find a substitution for their sabbatical meeting while, shaking the head, give it their tribute in a longing assertion: "THE MODEL MARKET was the only one in the World"...
Photo 1: A mountain of twisted metal is all that is left of the Model Market, consumed in less than three hours by the violence of flames.
Photo 2: From the stalls of the Model Market only the Stall Maria de S. Pedro was left standing. It's a rustic restaurant that is famous all over the world for its special bahian cookery, that the tourists as well as the locals like. Das barracas do Mercado Modêlo salvou-se apenas a Barraca Maria de S. Pedro, restaurante rústico famoso em todo o mundo pela culinária especializada baiana, que os turistas como os da terra saboreavam.