Town Hall and Prison

Town Hall and Prison

Vila Flor, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Equipment and Infrastructures

There is no documentation relating to the construction of the town hall and prison of Vila Flor. But it can be confidently stated that is was built after 1768, when the village became a town. It consists of an imposing structure with stone walls and brick masonry and features a singular use of arched porticos in three of the façades, creating a U-shaped gallery. There is no similar design among surviving town halls and prisons built by the Portuguese in Brazil. In the Bahian Recôncavo region, there are town halls (Cachoeira, Santo Amaro, Maragogipe) with galleries on the ground floor, but these are restricted to a single façade. The prison cells were lit by windows on the façade that has no portico. The two-storey building in which the town hall was located had large windows with guard-rails in all the façades. It is not known what the original interior looked like. The building was a complete ruin, with only the outer walls standing, when it was restored in the early 1970s. The original shape of the roof was restored, adopting a bold solution using cement to complete its structure. The restored town hall and prison now houses the headquarters of the Prefecture.

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