Instagram Friday: Then and Now in São Luís

The city of São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão, is over 400 years old, and in its historical district preserves much of its old-world charm. The Instagram account Minha Velha São Luís (My Old São Luís) has posted a series of pictures showing São Luís as it was decades ago, and as it is now. It’s so good that we are dedicating this week’s “Instagram Friday” to it.

So enjoy this voyage in a virtual time machine. We have included some explanations under some of the pictures.

This is the governor’s mansion, known locally as the “Lion’s Palace”. The top picture comes from the 1930s, the bottom picture from 2018.

A few blocks from the governor’s mansion is the Rua do Egito (Egypt Road). The top picture is from 1908, the bottom is from 2018.

It’s not part of what is today the “historical district”, but back in 1923 the Anil was once an elegant neighborhood. Now…not so much.

This is one of the most popular tourist destinations, with access to the best beaches and fanciest hotels. But back in the ’90s it was quite different.

Save for the color and the modern cars, these two pictures of the Praça Gonçalves Dias are much the same.

The Beira Mar (Oceanside) Avenue.

Another “then and now” view of the governor’s mansion.

This picture is fascinating. The post office in the bottom picture is itself an older structure, as evidenced by the archaic spelling on the sign. But it is by no means the original structure on that site. In the top picture, the Arthur Azevedo theatre can be seen…while in the bottom picture it is totally blocked out.

One of the more iconic residential streets of the historical district.


What is now the main highway going past the historical district used to be a railroad yard. The Praça Gonçalves Dias can be seen in the distance.

Another residential street in the historical district.

This is the municipal library, a beautiful neo-classical building which overlooks the Praça Deodoro. In another six months this should be updated, as this public square is undergoing a massive renovation.

For more of our Instagram Friday posts, click here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s