Beco Catarina Mina in São Luís do Maranhão

Beco Catarina Mina in São Luís do Maranhão
Beco Catarina Mina in São Luís do Maranhão

The Catarina Mina alley or Beco Catarina Mina in São Luís do Maranhão was named after the slave Catarina Rosa Pereira de Jesus, known for her great beauty and who, at the cost of much work and “favours” provided to the rich Portuguese, managed to gather enough money to buy her freedom.

After her freedom, she became rich and became the mistress of many other slaves.

The alley starts at Avenida Pedro II and ends at Beco da Alfândega. The alley is very narrow and has a staircase with 35 wide steps made of lioz wood, dating from the 18th century.

Beco Catarina Mina (Praia Grande) is one of the few streets in the Historic Centre of São Luís named after a woman, perhaps the only one named after a black woman.

In 1930, the place was renamed Rua Djalma Dutra, in honour of one of the heroes of the 1922 Copacabana Fort revolt.

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Beco Catarina Mina em São Luís - Maranhão

The alley that begins at Avenida Pedro II (Largo do Palácio) and ends at Travessa da Alfândega (Rua João Gualberto), at the walls of the City Hall, was born on Acaju beach, by the sea, corresponding to the side entrance of the Palace.

A very steep slope, the alley later received a staircase of 35 wide steps in lioz stone, dating from the seventeenth century existing to this day, between the streets Nazaré (Joaquim Távora) and Trapiche (Rua Portugal).

Beco Catarina Mina in São Luís do Maranhão
Beco Catarina Mina

The place is home to craft shops, a travel agency, theatre groups, and some cosy bars, including the Catarina Mina Bar.

History of Beco Catarina Mina

Catarina Mina, or Catarina Rosa Pereira de Jesus, was one of the most beautiful black slaves in the city who owned a stall at the foot of the slope of Rua da Calçada (“Canto do Tonico”), where she sold much appreciated by the locals.

From the region of Costa da Mina (Gulf of Guinea) in Africa, where most of Brazil’s slaves came from, the black woman bought her freedom thanks to the money she received from her work and, as they say, from the favours she rendered to the wealthy Portuguese merchants of Praia Grande.

With her fortune, she also bought the freedom of many of her friends.

Freed, she became the mistress of slaves with whom she always walked the streets of the city. Her slaves would follow her in courtship, dressed capriciously in lace and embroidery and adorned with many gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings. But barefoot, according to their condition.

The mistress, like her entourage, wore fine silks and brocades, with jewellery covering her neck, ears and arms, to be on a par with the ladies of the time.

If before, without the brios, she was already courted by men, imagine after the shop bath.

Tourism and Travel Guide of São Luís do Maranhão

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