Attractions of the Historic Center of Salvador da Bahia

Old Center of Salvador da Bahia
Old Center of Salvador da Bahia

The city of Salvador was founded in 1549 by Tomé de Souza and the large buildings were mostly erected from 1624 onwards, after the wars against the dutch.

They are the ones that make up the historic center of the city of Salvador da Bahia.

The Historic Center of Salvador is extremely rich in historical monuments dating from the 1549th century to the XNUMXth century. Salvador was the first colonial capital of Brazil and the city is one of the oldest in the New World (founded in XNUMX by Portuguese settlers).

It was also the first slave market on the continent, with slaves who arrived to work on the sugar plantations.

This area is in the oldest part of the city, the Cidade Alta, in Salvador. It spans several blocks around the triangular Largo and is the location for music, restaurants and nightlife.

In the 1990s, a restoration effort was made that resulted in making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction.

In 1985 it was honored as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Historic Center is famous for having several streets, including churches, cafes, restaurants, shops and pastel colored buildings. Police officers patrol the area to ensure security.

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See also other features Main sights of Salvador da Bahia

Sights of Pelourinho in Salvador BA

Largo do Pelourinho

Largo do Pelourinho
Largo do Pelourinho

In the Historic Center we can visit Largo do Pelourinho, with the Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado, located in one of the two-storey houses of a XNUMXth century architectural complex, which also house a large art trade, museums, bars and restaurants.

The place has a lively nightlife and on Tuesdays you can see the performance of the famous Olodum percussion group.

Largo do Pelourinho, officially Praça José de Alencar, is a public place located in the heart of the oldest part of the city of Salvador, in Bahia, Brazil.

Right at the foot of the old Portas do Carmo, near the Terreiro de Jesus and one of the most famous groups of baroque churches in the Americas, formed by the churches of the Third Order of São Francisco, all in gilded woodcarving; of San Francisco; the Rosary of the Blacks; do Passo and the imposing Cathedral-basilica, formerly Igreja do Colégio dos Padres, where the poet Gregório de Matos studied and where Father Antônio Vieira preached.

Largo do Pelourinho in Salvador

Largo do Pelourinho is so called because it was, for many years, a place of torture, where the condemned were exposed, tied to the pillory, in the eyes of passersby and public execration.

Over the round stones of its paving, polished by time, a lot of blood flowed, mainly the blood of the tortured blacks, who often died there, victims of their longing for liberation and the cruelty of their masters.

In this place, the scene of so many tragedies, scenery of so much pain, but also of intense beauty, reproduced in photos all over the world, a must-see postcard for anyone visiting the city of Salvador, the Casa de Jorge Amado is planted.

Terreiro de Jesus

Terreiro de Jesus in Pelourinho
Terreiro de Jesus in Pelourinho

In the first years of the 1550s, at the time of the foundation of Salvador by the Governor – General Tomé de Sousa, the Jesuits received from the governor an area north of the new city, in which the order's priests, led by Manuel da Nóbrega, built a first chapel. of rammed earth and the first building of the Jesuit College in the city.

Due to the presence of the priests of the Society of Jesus, the square in front became known as Terreiro de Jesus. The company's college building was completed in 1590, but before, in 1584, Gabriel Soares de Sousa (“Notícia do Brasil”, 1587) registered that “…this terreiro and part of the Rua da banda do mar occupies a sumptuous school of the priests of the Society of Jesus, with a beautiful and joyful church…”

The first small church built on the site in the 1652th century was very small and fragile, and between 1672 and XNUMX the Jesuits built a sumptuous church on the site, considered the most imposing of the XNUMXth century in Brazil.

Terreiro de Jesus in Salvador

The Church's mannerist façade, built with limestone blocks brought from Portugal, still dominates the square.

The interior is composed of magnificent altarpieces in gilded woodwork in Mannerist and Baroque styles, in addition to the carved wooden ceiling and the sacristy.

In 1933, after the demolition of the old Cathedral of Salvador, the church of the Jesuits became the new Cathedral of Salvador.

In addition to the cathedral, the Terreiro houses the Convent and Church of São Francisco, the Church of the Third Order of São Francisco and also the Church of the Third Order of São Domingos and the Church of São Pedro dos Clérigos. These temples, especially the first two, are the greatest exponents of Brazilian colonial art.

At the beginning of the 1833th century, the building of the former Colégio dos Jesuitas was used as a hospital and, in 1905, the first medical school in Brazil was installed there. The colonial building was lost in a fire in XNUMX, being replaced by another in an eclectic style.

Church and Convent of San Francisco

Church and Convent of San Francisco in Salvador
Church and Convent of San Francisco in Salvador

Another must visit is the Church and Convent of São Francisco. This small convent, whose construction began in 1591, was later expanded with the church of the same name.

Its altars are overlaid with gold; the choir and sacristy are masterpieces carved in jacaranda. Notice the ceiling of the Convent's entrance, representing an apotheosis of the Virgin, which seems to change as you move around the enclosure.

The tiles represent scenes from the contemplative life of the monks. In the cloister on the ground floor there are 37 tile panels inspired by the engravings of the Flemish painter Otto Van Veen. It's worth seeing, it's really beautiful!

Rio Branco Palace in Salvador

Rio Branco Palace in Salvador
Rio Branco Palace in Salvador

The Rio Branco Palace, with its beautiful iron and crystal staircase, built at the beginning of the XNUMXth century and designed by the Italian architect Júlio Conti, is open to visitors, with an exhibition of furniture, silver and earthenware from the period.

Leaving the Rio Branco Palace, you will be ready to visit the Lower City, descending by the Elevador Lacerda.

Take the opportunity to stop by the Tourist Information Office that is located there, and pick up explanatory leaflets on everything you have seen and can see in Salvador.

To get to know everything in the Historic Center, visiting churches, museums, browsing the shops, taking pictures with the Bahia girls, delighting in the view of Belvedere, you will need at least one day; a good option is to have lunch at SENAC's restaurant-school in Pelourinho, which serves excellent typical food.

Attractions in the Historic Center of Salvador da Bahia is the largest tourism and travel guide for Bahia and Salvador

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