The João Pessoa Square

... and a tragic love story.

The Palace of Redemption - Photo: Delma Paz
The Palace of Redemption - Photo: Delma Paz

The João Pessoa Square is located downtown. There you can find the Palace of Justice (the Higher Regional Court), the Palace of Redemption (the state government's headquarters) and the Palace of the Legislative, hence this place is also known as The Square of the Three Powers.

 

Between the Palace of Redemption and the Law School is the mausoleum of João Pessoa. This square was called originally Felizardo Leite Square, but after João Pessoa's assassination in 1930 it was named after him.

Photo: Fernando Pangaré
Photo: Fernando Pangaré

In 1923 a love tragedy took place at this square. Where today the Palace of Justice is located, it used to be a school for girls and Ágaba Gonçalves de Medeiros was one of its students. She had a boyfriend, Sady Castor Correia Lima, who frequented the Lyceu Paraibano, today's Law School.

 

Monsignor Milanez, who was the principal of the girl school, created an imaginary line and called it "the boundary of decency". This boundary was there to make sure the school girls wouldn't have any contact with the school boys, because it was against the good family values, according to the principal.

But Ágaba and Sady were in love with each other and Sady dared to cross that imaginary line. He was shot dead on the spot.

 

This event triggered a wave of protests that ended up deposing the principal and almost costed the governor's position.

 

The boundary of decency was repealed, unfortunately it was too late for Ágaba, who took her own life only two weeks after the execution of her boyfriend.

Photo: Fernando Pangaré
Photo: Fernando Pangaré