The 17th Century Comércio District – Belém


(The Firefighters of Pará on João Diogo st. on the border of Comércio & Campina)

I was browsing the net, more specifically the site ‘SkyScraper City’, when I came across some photos of beautiful buildings in Belém. The district is called Comércio and is situated next to Cidade Velha (Old Town) in the heart of Belém. In fact, the district is the second oldest in the city and many of the buildings are dated from the 17th century, reflecting the architectural motifs of the time in Lisbon.

After reading through the comments on the site above, I found quite a bit of information. The main avenue of the district is Avenida Presidente Vargas, probably named so due to the fact that the president stayed in the old Central Hotel (now the omnipresent C&A store). The so-called ‘anchor’ of the entire area is the 4-story department store called Yamada Matriz (the fourth floor is the coveted toy store). If you are in Belém and hear someone say they are going shopping “pra baixo” or “em baixo” (below), they are refering to Comércio in downtown Belém.

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