The Tea Pavilion

The Venâncio Neiva Square, located in the centre of the city, was built in 1917.

Photo: Christine & David Schmitt
Photo: Christine & David Schmitt

With fountains, gardens and a bandstand, its main attraction was the central area for rollerskaters, an activity that was very popular back then among the youngsters, who would flock to the square on Sundays and Holidays.

 

During the government of president Joao Pessoa, the rollerskating rink was pulled down to make room for the tea pavilion, where the 5 o'clock tea should be served, according to the conventions of the high society in that period.

 

The pavilion was build in eastern style, which gives the edification a very peculiar character in a city area covered by colonial style buildings.

The Tea Pavilion - Photo: Thercles Silva
The Tea Pavilion - Photo: Thercles Silva
Vocational School - Photo: Fernando Pangaré
Vocational School - Photo: Fernando Pangaré

That part of the city was originally inhabited by the so called "sugar barons", the landowners of vast sugar cane plantations in Brazil.

 

As the beach culture spread in the 60's, the wealthy started gradually moving towards the coast, which marked the expansion of the city in that direction.

 

The city centre became marginalized, the local politicians only gave attention to the beach area, leaving downtown abandoned.

 

The old buildings were mostly falling apart and it turned into a less attractive area. The area around Venâncio Neiva Square turned into a sort of red light district with prostitutes who waited for customers at the square, with cheap hotels whose rooms could be rented by the hour and muggers could be spotted overall.

 

In contrast to this environment, right in front of the square is the traditional vocational school Academia de Comércio Epitácio Pessoa, built in 1922.

 

The square is also surrounded by the Forum of Justice and lies just some steps away from the Joao Pessoa Square.

 

In 2012 the tea pavilion and the bandstand were renovated, in an attempt to revitalize the area, as well as law enforcement officers were deployed to provide for more security. These actions stimulated the renovation of the other buildings around the square and for sure contributed for its improvement.