Casa da Cultura - Recife
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Directions to Casa da Cultura
Casa da Cultura is a one of a kind site. The cross-shaped building was originally a prison, when it was built in 1850. Today, it is a large handcraft and arts mall, containing articles and products from all over the State. The stone-built cells which once held cold-blooded, wanted criminals now detain welcoming souvenir shops.
There are about 150 shops distributed in the three stories of the building. The variety of items is overhwhelming: pottery, sculpture, dolls, handmade board games and toys, leather clothing, embroidery, decoration pieces, xylographs, bikinis, paintings and the more obvious tourist souvenirs, such as T-shirts and fridge magnets. A food court is also available, where a host of other unforgettable elements of Pernambuco's culture await: bolo de rolo, tapioca, pamonha, cachaça and more. Also, at the third floor of the building you can visit the Frevo Museum, where many historical recordings of this typical rhytms are on display.
As many as three thousand visitors come here during high season.
One interesting fact: one of the many inmates in this prison was the writer Graciliano Ramos, who wrote about his time locked away in a book called 'Memórias do Cárcere'. Little could he imagine that today they would be selling copies of his journal in bookshops at the same place where he was incarcerated.
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