In Leiria all the ways lead to Sant’Ana Market, an outstanding building located at the heart of the city, designed by prestigious Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi. The municipal Sant’Ana Market is nowadays a vibrant cultural centre boasting a theatre – Teatro Miguel Franco – and promoting several appealing events all year round.
Sant’Ana Market was projected by the acclaimed Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi in 1921 and built in 1929. The building was erected upon the ruins of Santana Church and Convent that were demolished in 1916. The only vestiges of these monuments were the portals that were later integrated in the Guard’s House in the Castle of Leiria.
The architect Ernesto Korrodi lived in Leiria since 1894 and was invited by the local city hall to redesign the urban planing of the convent area and to create the municipal market. Sant’Ana Market is an example of utilitarian architecture and of the usage of traditional concepts and materials, resulting in a deeply eclectic building. Ernesto Korrodi is also the designer of Leiria City Hall building (1903).
From 1958 the market was redesigned according to the spirit of the times. A new building was created and the old one was continuously occupied, namely until 1996. The team of architects formed by Rui Ribeiro, Jorge Estrela and António Luís Ferreira were in charge of the refurbishment project of Sant’Ana Market and on July 28th 2003 the brand new market opened its doors to the public.
Sant’Ana Market is nowadays a cornerstone of Leiria’s cultural life, presenting very interesting annual events, such as: the Gin & Sushi Festival; the Tea & Craft Beer Festival and the Book Fair. Sant’Ana Market includes also Miguel Franco Theatre with capacity for 213 persons, as well 2 auditoriums, an exhibition room, a painting gallery, a bar, a café and a restaurant.