Conde Da Boa Vista Avenue

Lúcia Gaspar
Joaquim Nabuco Foundation Librarian
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The place where Avenida Conde da Boa Vista (Count of Boa Vista Avenue) is found today was originally waterlogged, a swamp, an impassable quagmire until 1756, when it was filled in.

Initially called ‘Rua Formosa’ (Formosa St), a name given to it by people owing to the beauty of the area, the current avenue was built in three stages.

In 1840, Francisco do Rego Barros, the Count of Boa Vista, President of the Province of Pernambuco, filled in the swamp where today the Boa Vista neighbourhoodis, to expand the city centre, beginning with the construction of its first part: the stretch between Aurora St and Hospício St, formerly Visconde de Camaragibe.

Later, the second stretch between Hospício St  and Gervásio Pires St was built. Only in 1852 did the construction of its third stretch begin, when the indemnification process of the lands that belonged to surgeon Manoel Pereira Teixeira began, for the opening of what was called ‘Caminho Novo’ (New Path). The conclusion of this third and final stretch, which runs to the Derby neighbourhood, was only sealed in 1899, when the necessary indemnifications were finished, and the thoroughfare could be opened.

In 1870, with the death of the Count of Boa Vista, the city council changed its name from Rua Formosa to Rua Conde da Boa Vista.

Formosa St and New Pathwere widened during the first term of Recife Mayor Pelópidas Silveira, in 1946. The future avenue was widened based on the dimensions, from pavement to pavement, of the Duarte Coelho Bridge, which had been inaugurated, in concrete, in 1943.

Conde da Boa Vista Ave, however, is 42 metres wider than the bridge because of the need for parking. The thoroughfare’s widening and improvements, at the time, were carried out up to Soledade St, on the corner of what was then Colégio Padre Félix (Father Felix School).

It was only in the second term of Pelópidas Silveira, from 1955-1959, that the widening was finished up to the Dom Bosco St intersection, giving the avenue its current layout: from the Duarte Coelho Bridge up to Dom Bosco St, where it turns in the direction of Derby, taking the name of Governador Carlos de Lima Cavalcanti.

During the widening process several constructions were demolished, among them the Anglican Church, known as the Igrejinha dos Ingleses (Little Church of the English), located where the Duarte Coelho Building is today, on whose ground floor is the former Cinema São Luís, with its beautiful panel by Lula Cardoso Ayres.

In the 1840s, French engineers Louis-Léger Vauthier, designer of the Santa Isabel Theatre, and Pierre Victor Bolitreau, responsible for various urban projects in the city, lived in large houses on the Avenue. Today, few of these grand houses of Formosa St remain. There were beautiful constructions like the Soledade Palace, built in the mid-19th Century, and the home of businessman Eugênio Ramiro Costa, built in the 20th Century.

Strategically located, Conde da Boa Vista Ave is one of the busiest arteries in the Pernambuco capital. It is estimated that its daily movement is more than 20 thousand vehicles and 40 thousand people.

Previously a largely residential area, today it houses a large part of the city centre’s businesses, as well as banks, schools, religious temples, a shoppingmall; bars; and restaurants.

According to the Guia Gay (Gay Guide), produced by the NGOOs Defensores (The Defendors), the block between Gervásio Pires St and Jiriquiti St is considered a GLS hub (Gays, Lesbians and Sympathisers).

From 2007 and 2008, The Recife City Council built the Corredor Leste-Oeste (East-West Corridor), installing a bus-only lane connecting Conde da Boa Vista Ave to Caxangá Avenue.The pavements were rebuilt and new bus stops were implanted, bring a new urban conception to the área.

Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.


AVENIDA Caxangá ganha nova sinalização. Disponível em:   Acesso em: 5 jun. 2007>. Acesso em: 5 jun. 2007.

CAVALCANTI, Carlos Bezerra. O Recife e seus bairros. Recife: Câmara Municipal, 1998.

______. O Recife e suas ruas: “se essas ruas fossem minhas”. Recife: Edificantes, 2002.

COSTA, Francisco Augusto Pereira da. Anais pernambucanos. Recife: Arquivo Público Estadual, 1962.

LIVRO azul: indicador comercial e profissional. Recife: [s.n.], 1941.


Source: GASPAR, Lúcia. Avenida Caxangá, Recife, PE. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009



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