São José is one of the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods of Recife. It is located in the center of the city and is bordered by the neighborhoods of Santo Antônio, Cabanga, and Ilha Joana Bezerra. The neighborhood of São José is made up of old buildings which constitute part of old Recife. Some of the buildings include the José Estelita Pier, the São José Market, the old Detention center (now a cultural center), the Cinco Pontas Fort and many churches (one of which gave the neighborhood its name).
Recife’s Carnival is also quite tied to the neighborhood. Aside from the Carnival blocos that came from there, like Batutas de São José, Donzelos, Traquinas de São José, Prato Misterioso, and Pão Duro, among others, it was the home of important Carnival clubs and the samba school Estudantes de São José. And, one cannot leave out the biggest bloco of them all (that is, the biggest in the world), the Galo da Madrugada.
Unfortunately, São José has endured many years of neglect but it deserves to be preserved for both cultural and historical reasons.