Salvador, Bahia

Salvador (historic name, São Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos, in English: "Holy Savior of All Saints' Bay") is a city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the country and in the New World; for a long time, it was also known as Bahia, and appears under that name (or as Salvador da Bahia, Salvador of Bahia so as to differentiate it from other Brazilian cities of the same name) on many maps and books from before the mid-20th century. Salvador is the third most populous Brazilian city, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and it is the ninth most populous city in Latin America, after Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago of Chile and Caracas.

The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the northeastern region of the country. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador has some Black African ancestry. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

Salvador is located on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates Todos os Santos Bay from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, which gets its name from having been discovered on All Saints' Day forms a natural harbor. Salvador is a major export port, lying at the heart of the Recôncavo Baiano, a rich agricultural and industrial region encompassing the northern portion of coastal Bahia. The local terrain is diverse ranging from flat to rolling to hills and low mountains.

A particularly notable feature is the escarpment that divides Salvador into the Cidade Alta ("Upper Town" - rest of the city) and the Cidade Baixa ("Lower Town" - northwest region of the city), the former some 85 m (275 ft) above the latter, with the city's cathedral and most administrative buildings standing on the higher ground. An elevator (the first installed in Brazil), known as Elevador Lacerda, has connected the two sections since 1873, having since undergone several upgrades.

The Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport connects Salvador with Brazilian cities and also operates international flights, and the city is home to the Federal University of Bahia.


Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay) was first encountered by the Portuguese and christened in 1502. In 1501, one year after the arrival of Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet in Porto Seguro, Gaspar de Lemos arrived at Todos os Santos Bay and sailed most of the Bahia coast. But the first European man to disembark in Morro de São Paulo was Martin Alfonso de Souza, in 1531, leading an expedition encharged to explore the coast of the new continent. In 1510, a ship, containing the Portuguese settler Caramuru, wrecked near the borough of Rio Vermelho. In 1534, Francisco Pereira Coutinho founded a town near Barra borough, called Vila Velha, Portuguese for "Old town". In 1549, a fleet of Portuguese settlers headed by Tomé de Sousa, the first Governor-General of Brazil, established Salvador. Built on a high cliff overlooking All Saints bay as the first colonial capital of colonial Brazil, it quickly became its main sea port and an important center of the sugar industry and the slave trade. Salvador was divided into an upper and a lower city, the upper city was the administrative and main religious area and it was where the majority of the population lived. The lower city was the financial center, with a port and market. In the late 19th Century, funiculars and an elevator, the Elevador Lacerda, were built to link the areas. Portuguese architecture in Pelourinho, Salvador.]] The city became the seat of the first Catholic bishop of Brazil in 1552, and is still a center of Brazilian Catholicism. By 1583, there were 1,600 people residing in the city, and it quickly grew into one of the largest cities in the New World, surpassing any colonial American city at the time of the American Revolution in 1776. Salvador was the capital city of the Portuguese viceroyalty of Grão-Pará and its province of Bahia de Todos os Santos. The Dutch Republic captured and sacked the city in May of 1624, and held it along with other north east ports until it was re-taken by the Portuguese in April of the following year.

Salvador was the first capital of Brazil and remained so until 1763, when it was succeeded by Rio de Janeiro. The city became a base for the Brazilian independence movement and was attacked by Portuguese troops in 1812, before being liberated on July 2, 1823. It settled into graceful decline over the next 150 years, out of the mainstream of Brazilian industrialization. It remains, however, a national cultural and tourist center. By 1948 the city had some 340,000 people, and was already Brazil's fourth largest city. In 2008 was 2,948,733, the third largest population of Brazil. Monument.]] In the 1990s, a major city project cleaned up and restored the old downtown area, the Pelourinho, or Centro Historico ("Historical Center"). Now, the Pelourinho is a cultural center, and the very heart of Salvador. Nonetheless, this social prophylaxis resulted in the forced removal of thousands of working class residents to the city's periphery where they have encountered significant economic hardship. Additionally, the Historical Center is now something of a depopulated architectural jewel who's "animation" must be brought in and sponsored by local shopowners and the Bahian state. Similar situations may be found in many UNESCO World Heritage Sites today but the Pelourinho, in light of Salvador's economic inequalities and ruling governmental coalition's of the 1990s, seems to have gone farther than most in sacrificing its population to the needs of tourist-based preservation.

Salvador has been the birthplace of many noted Brazilians, including musicians such as song-writer Dorival Caymmi, Música Popular Brasileira (MPB or Brazilian Popular Music) star Gal Costa, and Grammy Award winner Gilberto Gil. Gil later went on to serve as a city council member (vereador) and is the Brazilian Minister of Culture in the cabinet of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Also internationally recognized are the city's Blocos Afros, such as Olodum, Ara Ketu, and Ilê Aiyê. Notable writers associated with Salvador include Jorge Amado, considered one of Brazil's greatest authors and fabulists, and João Ubaldo Ribeiro. The famous Brazilian visual artist Carybé is based in Salvador as well. Celebrities born in Salvador include supermodel Adriana Lima.


make up the majority of the population in Salvador.]]

in Plataforma Neighborhood.]] festivities in Rio Vermelho Neighborhood.]] According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 3,475,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador. The population density was Шаблон:Convert. The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 1,869,550 Pardo (brown) people (53.8%), 990,375 Black people (28.5%), 580,325 White people (16.7%), 31,275 Asian or Amerindian people (0.9%).

With a current population estimated in 2,892,625 inhabitants, Salvador is the 3rd most populous city in Brazil, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Most of the population is in part descended from Black African slaves, who were mainly Yoruba speakers from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

Population growth

Changing demographics of the city of Salvador


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bar:1872 from:0 till: 129109 bar:1890 from:0 till: 174402 bar:1900 from:0 till: 205813 bar:1920 from:0 till: 283422 bar:1940 from:0 till: 290443 bar:1950 from:0 till: 417235 bar:1960 from:0 till: 649453 bar:1970 from:0 till: 1007195 bar:1980 from:0 till: 1501981 bar:1991 from:0 till: 2056013 bar:1996 from:0 till: 2211539 bar:2000 from:0 till: 2440828 bar:2006 from:0 till: 2714018 bar:2007 from:0 till: 2892625


bar:1872 at: 129109 fontsize:S text: 129.109 shift:(-8,5) bar:1890 at: 174402 fontsize:S text: 174.402 shift:(-10,5) bar:1900 at: 205813 fontsize:S text: 205.813 shift:(-10,5) bar:1920 at: 283422 fontsize:S text: 283.422 shift:(-10,5) bar:1940 at: 290443 fontsize:S text: 290.443 shift:(-10,5) bar:1950 at: 417235 fontsize:S text: 417.235 shift:(-10,5) bar:1960 at: 649453 fontsize:S text: 649.453 shift:(-10,5) bar:1970 at: 1007195 fontsize:S text: 1.007.195 shift:(-20,5) bar:1980 at: 1501981 fontsize:S text: 1.501.981 shift:(-20,5) bar:1991 at: 2056013 fontsize:S text: 2.056.013 shift:(-20,5) bar:1996 at: 2211539 fontsize:S text: 2.211.539 shift:(-20,5) bar:2000 at: 2440828 fontsize:S text: 2.440.828 shift:(-20,5) bar:2006 at: 2714018 fontsize:S text: 2.714.018 shift:(-20,5) bar:2007 at: 2892625 fontsize:S text: 2.892.625 shift:(-20,5)

TextData= fontsize:S pos:(20,20) text: </timeline>

Source: Planet Barsa Ltda.


Religion Percentage Number
Catholic 60.54% 1,479,101
No religion 18.14% 443,236
Protestant 13.29% 324,785
Spiritist 2.53% 61,833
Umbandist 0.49% 11,959
Jewish 0.03% 698
Others 4.35% 106,320

Source: IBGE 2000.



in the morning.]] in Historic Centre.]] Salvador is the second most popular tourist destination in Brazil. Tourism and cultural activity are important generators of jobs and income, boosting the arts and the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage. Chief among the points of interest are its famous Pelourinho (named after the colonial pillories that once stood there) district, its historic churches, and its beaches. Salvador's tourism infrastructure is considered one of the most modern in Brazil, especially in terms of lodging. The city offers accommodation to suit all tastes and standards, from youth hostels to international hotels. Construction is one of the most important activities in the city, and many international (mainly from Spain, Portugal and England) and national developers are investing in the city and in the Bahian littoral zone.

Ford Motor Company has a plant in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, in the city of Camaçari, assembling the Ford EcoSport and Ford Fiesta. It is the only Automotive industry in Northern and Northeastern Brazil.

In December 2001, Monsanto Company inaugurated, at the Petrochemical Pole of Camaçari, in Metropolitan Region of Salvador, the first plant of the company designed to produce raw materials for the herbicide Roundup in South America. The investment is equivalent to US$ 500 millions; US$ 350 millions were spent in this initial phase. The Camaçari Plant, the largest unit of Monsanto outside of the United States, is also the only Monsanto plant manufacturing raw materials for the Roundup production line. The company started the civil works for the new plant in January 2000.

The area of the unit is 631,000 square meters, including 200,000 square meters of constructed area. Upon completion of the two phases, it will employ 1,400 people, including direct (350) and indirect (1050) employments. With this plant in operation, Monsanto now contributes US$ 300 million to the Brazilian economy, avoiding the importation of US$ 150 million of raw materials.

The GDP for the city was R$ 22,145,303,000 (2005).

The per capita income for the city was R$ 8,283 (2005).

Economy GDP (in reais) GDP per capita (in reais)
2002 16,463,298,000 6,464
2003 16,929,310,000 6,541
2004 19,887,968,000 7,557
2005 22,145,303,000 8,283

Tourism and recreation

Beach.]] Beach.]] .]] The Salvador coastline is one of the longest for cities in Brazil. There are 50 km (31 mi) of beaches distributed between the High City and the Low City, from Inema, in the railroad suburb to the Praia do Flamengo, on the other side of town. While the Low City beaches are bordered by the waters of the All Saints Bay (the country’s most extensive bay), the High City beaches, from Farol da Barra to Flamengo, are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The exception is Porto da Barra, the only High City beach located in the All Saints Bay.

The big hotels tend to be strung out along the orla (Atlantic seafront). There are also smaller hotels in Barra and Porto da Barra, others (generally less expensive) scattered along the principal thoroughfare of Avenida Sete de Setembro (shortened to "Avenida Sete" by the locals), and still others (usually inexpensive) in and around Pelourinho.

There are also pousadas (guest houses, or bed & breakfasts) in Barra, Pelourinho, and Santo Antônio (and other places as well, to be sure), and hostels (albergues) which are for the most part located in Pelourinho (though a lot of the "pousadas" in Barra are hostels as well).

The capital's beaches range from calm inlets, ideal for swimming, sailing, diving and underwater fishing, as well as open sea inlets with strong waves, sought by surfers. There are also beaches surrounded by reefs, forming natural pools of stone, ideal for children.

Interesting places to visit near Salvador include:

  • According to the British newspaper The Guardian, in 2007, Porto da Barra Beach was the 3rd best in the world.
  • Salvador is the second destine by international tourists in Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro is the first.
  • The large island of Itaparica in the Bay of All Saints - can be visited either by a car-ferry, or a smaller foot-passenger ferry which leaves from near the Mercado Modelo near the Lacerda Elevator.
  • Linha Verde, or "green line" of towns and cities, with exquisite beaches, north of Salvador heading towards Sergipe state.
  • Cachoeira in the recôncavo region - 2 hours by bus: a great centre of Candomblé with a pousada (inn) in the convent there.
  • Morro de São Paulo in the Valença region across the Bay of All Saints - a lively island which can be reached by ferry from Salvador (1 hr), by plane, or by bus to Valença and then by 'Rapido' ('fast') speedboat or smaller ferry. Morro de São Paulo is formed by 5 villages of the Tinharé Island.

The city is served by many shopping malls: Aeroclube Plaza Show, Caboatã Shopping, Casa Shopping Cidade, Out Let Center, Salvador Shopping, Shopping Baixo Dos Sapateiros, Shopping Barra, Shopping Boulevard 161, Shopping Brotas Center, Shopping Center Iguatemi, Shopping Center Lapa, Shopping Do Pelô, Shopping Imbuí Plaza, Shopping Itaigara, Shopping Orixás Center, Shopping Piedade, Shopping Sumaré.

Club of Bahia.]] Fortress.]] Salvador has four parks, green areas protected, as Jardim dos Namorados Park, Costa Azul Park, Park of the City, Park of Pituaçu.

Jardim dos Namorados is located right next to Costa Azul Park and occupies an area of 15 hectares in Pituba, where many families used to spend their vacations in the 1950s. It was inaugurated in 1969, initially as a leisure area. It underwent a complete renovation in the 1990s, with the construction of an amphitheater with room for 500 people, sports courts, playgrounds and parking four cars and tourist buses.

Costa Azul Park occupies an area of approximately 55,000 square meters, and is located in the neighborhood that goes by the same name. It has football courts, gymnastics equipment, cycleways, jogging tracks, two playgrounds with an area for bicycles, sidewalks, restaurants, green areas, a parking lot with room for 150 vehicles and an amphitheater capable of receiving 600 people.

Park of the City is an important preservation area of Atlantic forest. It was completed renovated in 2001, becoming a modern social, cultural and leisure place. The new park has 720 square meter of green area right in the middle of the city. Among the attractions are Praça das Flores (Flowers square), with more than five thousand ornamental plants, especially flowers. Besides its environment, the park has an infrastructure for children, with a special schedule of events taking place every October.

The park has also a medical station, special areas for encounters of students, tourists and senior citizens, a wide parking area with room for 270 vehicles, a 4,000 meter long jogging track, surrounding the entire park and an amphitheater with capacity for 600 people, where several cultural activities happen. Leisure and Gymnastics equipment can be found as well and the security is done by Florestal Police.

Created by state decree in 1973, Pituaçu Park occupies an area of 450 hectares and is one of the few Brazilian ecological parks located in an urban area. It is surrounded by Atlantic forest, with a good variety of plants and animals. There is also an artificial pond in the park, built in 1906 along with the Pituaçu Dam, whose purpose was to supply water to the city. There are a number of possible leisure activities, ranging from cycloboats rides on the pond, to an 18 km (11 mi) long cycloway circling the entire reserve. Completing this infrastructure there are several options for children to play, snack bars, ice cream parlors and restrooms. A museum is also located in the park. Espaço Cravo is an outdoor museum with 800 pieces created by Mario Cravo, comprising Totems, winged and three-dimensional figures, as well as drawings and paintings.


High School in Salvador.]] Portuguese language is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum. There are also international schools, such as the Pan American School of Bahia.

Educational institutions

The city has several universities:

of Medicine of the country, is located in Pelourinho. Today is a museum.]]

Portuguese schools

The city has several language schools of Portuguese for foreigners:

Primary and secondary schools

Top high schools of the city are Colégio Anglo-Brasileiro, Federal Institute of Bahia (IFBA - Cefet), Colégio Militar de Salvador, Colégio Anchieta, Colégio Oficina, Colégio Miró, Colégio Antônio Vieira, Colégio Módulo, Colégio Sartre, Colégio São Paulo, Colégio Cândido Portinari, Colégio Integral, Colégio São José, Colégio Alfred Nobel, Colégio Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Colégio Santíssimo Sacramento, Colégio Diplomata, Centro Educacional Nossa Senhora do Resgate, Colégio Gregor Mendel.

Historic Centre

Шаблон:Main Шаблон:Infobox World Heritage Site The Historic Centre of Salvador was designated in 1985 a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city represents a fine example the Portuguese urbanism from the middle of the 16th century with its higher administrative town and its lower commercial town, and a large portion of the city has retained the old character of its streets and colourful houses.

As the first capital of Portuguese America, Salvador cultivated slave labor and had its "pelourinhos" pillories installed in open places like the terreiro de Jesus and the squares know today as Thomé de Souza and Castro Alves. The "pelourinho" was a symbol of authority and justice, for some, and lashings and injustice for the majority. The one erected for a short time in what is now the Historical Center, and later moved to what is now the Praça da Piedade (Square of Piety), ended up lending its name to the historical and architectural complex of Pelourinho, part of the city's historical center.

Since 1992, the Pelourinho neighborhood has been subject to a nearly US$ 100 million "restoration" that has led to the rebuilding of hundreds of buildings' facades and the expulsion of the vast majority of the neighborhood's Afro-descendent population. This process has given rise to substantial political debate in the State of Bahia, since the Pelourinho's former residents have been for the most part excluded from the renovation's economic benefits (reaped by a few). A major restoration effort resulted in making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction.

Salvador's considerable wealth and status during colonial times (as capital of the colony during 250 years and which gave rise to the Pelourinho) is reflected in the magnificence of its colonial palaces, churches and convents, most of them dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. These include:

  • Cathedral of Salvador: Former Jesuit church of the city, built in the second half of the 17th century. Fine example of Mannerist architecture and decoration.
  • Convent and Church of São Francisco: Franciscan convent and church dating from the first half of the 18th century is an another fine example of the Portuguese colonial architecture. The Baroque decoration of the church is among the finest in Brazil.
  • Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim: Rococo church with Neoclassical inner decoration. The image of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim is the most venerated in the city, and the Feast of Our Lord of Good Ending (Festa de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim) in January is the most important in the city after Carnival.

of Salvador.]]

  • Mercado Modelo (Model Market): In 1861, at the Cayrú Square, the Customs Building was constructed, with a rotunda (large circular room with a domed ceiling) at the back end, where ships anchored to unload their merchandise. In 1971, a market began to operate in the Customs Building, and thirteen years later, it caught fire, burned down, and underwent reform. Today, there are 200 stands with a variety of arts and crafts made in Bahia as well as other states in northeastern region of Brazil, two restaurants, and several bars that serve typical drinks and appetizers.
  • Elevador Lacerda (Lacerda Elevator): Inaugurated in 1873, this elevator was planned and built by the businessman Antônio Francisco de Lacerda, The four elevator cages connect the Шаблон:Convert between the Thomé de Souza Square in the upper city, and the Cayru Square in the lower city. In each run, which lasts for 22 seconds, the elevator transports 128 persons, 24 hours a day.


Salvador's historical and cultural aspects were inherited by the miscigenation of such ethnic groups as Native-Indian, African, and European. This mixture can be seen in the religion, golden cuisine, cultural manifestations, and custom of Bahia's people.


in the afternoon.]] As the capital of colonial Brazil until 1763, Salvador was an important cultural centre since the 16th century, as reflected in the large number of prominent literary figures associated with colonial Salvador, usually educated in the religious schools of the convents of the city and in the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Frei Vicente do Salvador (1564-1635), a Bahia-born Franciscan friar who studied in the Jesuit School of Salvador, was the author of the first book on Brazilian history written by a Brazil-born author.

.]] Gregório de Mattos, born in Salvador in 1636, was also educated by the Jesuits. He became the most important Baroque poet in colonial Brazil for his religious and satirical works. Father António Vieira was born in Lisbon in 1608, but was raised and educated in the Jesuit school of Salvador and died in the city in 1697. His erudite sermons have earned him the title of best writer of the Portuguese language in the Baroque era.

After the independence of Brazil (1822), Salvador continued to play an important role in Brazilian literature. Significant 19th century writers associated with the city include Romantic poet Castro Alves (1847-1871) and diplomat Ruy Barbosa (1849-1923). In the 20th century, Bahia-born Jorge Amado (1912-2001), although not born in Salvador, helped popularize the culture of the city around the world in novels such as Jubiabá, Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos, and Tenda dos Milagres, the settings of which are in Salvador.


In Salvador, religion is a major contact point between Portuguese and African influences. Salvador was the seat of the first bishopric in colonial Brazil (established 1551), and the first bishop, Pero Fernandes Sardinha, arrived already in 1552. The Jesuits, led by the Manuel da Nóbrega, also arrived in the 16th century and worked in converting the Indigenous peoples of the region to Roman Catholicism.

(17th century), now cathedral.]] Many religious orders came to the city, following its foundation: Franciscans, Benedictines and Carmelites. Subsequently to them are created the Third Orders, the Brotherhoods, and Fraternities, which were composed mainly of professional and social groups. The most prominent of these orders were the Terceira do Carmo Order and the de São Francisco Order, founded by white men, and the Nossa Senhora do Rosário and São Beneditino Brotherhoods, composed of black men. In many churches maintained by religious men, were housed the Santíssimo Sacramento brotherhoods.

Besides these organizations, the expansion of Catholicism in the city was consolidated through social care work. Santa Casa the Misericórdia was one oh the institution that did this kind of work, maintaining hospitals, shelters for the poor and the elderly, as well providing assistance to convicts and to those who would face death penalties. The convents, on their part, were cultural and religious formation centers, offering seminar coursed that often were attende by the lay.

Even with the present evolution, and the growth of Protestantism and other religions in the city, the catholic faith remains as one of its most distinctive features, drawing a lot of people to its hundreds of churches. Some aspects, like the use of Portuguese in the Masses, the simplification of the liturgy, and the adoption of "pop" religious songs are key factors to the triumph of Catholicism. In the Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos Church, Masses are held in the Yorubá language, making use of African chants and typical clothes, which attract many people from the black communities.

in Iguatemi Neighborhood.]] Most enslaved Africans in Bahia were brought from Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Yoruba-speaking nation (Iorubá or Nagô in Portuguese) from present-day Nigeria. The enslaved were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism, but their original religion, Candomblé, has survived in spite of prohibitions and persecutions. The enslaved Africans managed to preserve their religion by attributing the names and characteristics of their Candomblé deities to Catholic saints with similar qualities.

Hence, as former pagan Christians once associated Pagan deities with the saints, enslaved Africans in Bahia transformed their faiths into a syncretic form of religion that still attempts to please both their own roots and the faith imposed by their masters and those caught in between both traditions. Thus, up to today, even nominal Catholics take part in Candomblé rituals in the terreiros or "centros". Candomblé is based on the cult of the Orishas (Orixás), like Obatala (Oxalá), father of humankind; Ogoun (Ogum), god of the war and iron; Yemanja (Iemanjá), goddess of the sea, rivers and lakes.

These religious entities have been syncretised with some Catholic entities. For instance, Salvador's Feast of Bonfim, celebrated in January, is dedicated to both Our Lord of Bonfim (Jesus Christ) and Oxalá. Another important feast is the Feast de Yemanja every February 2, on the shores of the borough of Rio Vermelho in Salvador, on the day the church celebrates Our Lady of the Navigators. December 8, Immaculate Conception Day for Catholics, is also commonly dedicated to Yemanja' with votive offerings made in the sea throughout the Brazilian coast.

of the Ordem dos Terceiros de São Francisco.]] Religious syncretism is defined as the combination of two or more creeds. In Brazil, especially in Bahia, it came up as a solution for the slaves who were prohibited of practicing their religion, so they pretended to be worshiping catholic saints while in reality they were venerating their own deities. Hence, associating an orixá (Candoblé deity) to a catholic was a strategy used by black people to maintain their beliefs and rituals alive, while they fooled their masters, making them believe that their devotion was to the catholic saints.

The lives of catholic saints and their own physical features, portrayed on sculptures and drawings, made the identification with the orixás easier. Salvador is a city where different ethnic and cultural aspects are mixed up, but religious syncretism remains as one of its most intriguing features. Its ancient churches are a proof of the power of Catholicism, which was brought by the Portuguese and forced upon Blacks and Indigenous.


of Salvador.]] The local cuisine, spicy and based on seafood (shrimp, fish), strongly relies on typically African ingredients and techniques, and is much appreciated throughout Brazil and internationally. The most typical ingredient is azeite-de-dendê, an oil extracted from a palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) brought from West Africa to Brazil during colonial times.

Using the milky coconut juice, they prepared a variety of sea-food based dishes, such as Ensopados, Moquecas and Escabeche. The sugar cane bagasse was mixed with molasses and Rapadura, in the creation of coconut desserts like Cocada Branca and Preta. The remaining of the Portuguese Stew sauce was mixed with manioc flour to make a mush, which is a traditional Indian dish. In the markets of Salvador, it is possible to find stands selling typical dishes of the colonial era. In the Sete Portas Market, customers eat Mocotó on Friday nights since the 1940s, when the market was inaugurated. In the restaurants of Mercado Modelo (Model Market), Sarapatel, stews and several fried dishes are served regularly. In the São Joaquim, Santa Bárbara and São Miguel markets, there are stands selling typical food. They are also sold at stands located on the beaches, specially crab stews and oysters. The restaurants that sell typical dishes are located mostly along the coast and in Pelourinho. They prepare a wide variety of recipes that take palm tree oil.

Traditional dishes include caruru, vatapá, acarajé, bobó-de-camarão, moqueca baiana, and abará. Some of these dishes, like the acarajé and abará, are also used as offerings in Candomblé rituals. An acarajé is basically a deep-fried "bread" made from mashed beans from which the skins have been removed (reputedly feijão fradinho "black-eyed peas" but in reality almost always the less expensive brown beans so ubiquitous in Bahia). But Salvador is not only typical food. Other recipes created by the slaves were the Haussá Rice (rice and jerked beef mowed together), the Munguzá, used as offering to the Candomblé deity Oxalá (who is the father of all deities, according to the religion) pleased the matrons very much. So did the Bolinhos the Fubá, the Cuscuz (cornmeal) and the Mingau (porridge). According to Arany Santana, the Ipetê (used in the rituals to the deity Oxum) became the Shrimp Bobó (a kind of mush), and the Akará (honoring the deities Xangô and Iansã) became the world-famous Acarajé. Who comes here also has a large number of restaurants specialized on international cuisine. There also places that serve dishes from other states of Brazil, especially from Minas Gerais and the Northeast region.


in Salvador.]] Capoeira is a unique mix of dance and martial art of Afro-Brazilian origin, combining agile dance moves with unarmed combat techniques. Capoeira in Portuguese literally means "chicken coop". The presence of capoeira in Brazil is directly connected to the importation of African slaves by the Portuguese, and Salvador is considered the centre of origin of the modern capoeira branches. The initial purpose of Capoeira's emergence was to boost the slaves morale, remind them of their homeland through music and to defend themselves against aggression from their owners. The art of Capoeira is uniquely identified by swinging hips, arm stands, head butts and sweeping feet movements. The art required a good level of agility and core strength. In the first half of the 20th century, Salvador-born masters Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pastinha founded capoeira schools and helped standartise and popularise the art in Brazil and the world. The practice of Capoeira was banned in 1892, though in 1937 it was made legal.

Capoeira practices are accompanied by special music and songs. Musical instruments used in capoeira music include the berimbau, atabaque, pandeiro, agogô, and caxixi. Capoeira has moved from the senzalas and quilombos of Brazil to New York, Berlin, Australia, and just about every place in between.


The artistic, cultural and social heritage of Salvador is preserved in museums. From Museu de Arte da Bahia (MAB), which is the oldest in the State, to Museu Náutico, the newest, the first capital of Brazil preserve unique pieces of history. Every museum in the sate is an unusual journey. The collection have such an immense symbolical value that no financial figure could ever measure.

Even so, the importance of Salvador's museums has drawn the interest of experts from Brazil and abroad. There we can find valuable pieces of religious art, ornamental items from the old manors and also objects that belonged to the old families and public figures of the state. The Arte Sacra and Abelardo Rodrigues museums are must, see programs. They both have the biggest sacra art collection in the country. Another obligatory tour is to Museu de Arte da Bahia.

Museu de Arte da Bahia has paintings, Chinese porcelain, furniture and sacra images from the 17th and 18th centuries. Museu Costa Pinto has private, owned items such as, pieces of art, crystal objects, furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, tapestry, sacra pieces and Chinese porcelain. The golden jewelry and the 27 ornamental silver buckles are the most precious in the entire collection.

Another important museum is Museu da Cidade, where many items that help to preserve the heritage of old Salvador are kept. There we can find thematic objects that belonged to public personalities in the state like dolls, orixá statues and religious images. There is also an art gallery located inside of the museums. There is also Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado, with pictures, objects and the life's stories of the author of memorable novels that portray old Bahia like, Gabriela – Cravo e Canela, Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos, O País do Carnaval and Tieta do Agreste.

Some churches and monasteries also have museums located in their premises. Examples of this are the Carmo da Misericórdia and São Bento Museums. After the renovation of the Forts, were created Museu Náutico, in Forte de Santo Antonio da Barra (Farol da Barra) and Museu da Comunicação, in Forte São Diogo. Other important museums that are scattered through Salvador are: Museu do Cacau, Museu geológico do Estado, Museu tempostal, Solar do Ferrão, Museu de Arte Antiga e Popular Henriqueta M Catharino, Museu Eugênio Teixeira Leal and Museu das Portas do Carmo.


Circuit, on September 7 Avenue.]] - Ondina Circuit, on Oceanic Avenue.]] According to the Guinness Book of Records, the carnival or Carnaval of Salvador de Bahia is the biggest street party on the planet. For an entire week, almost 2 million people celebrate throughout 25 kilometers (15 miles) of streets, avenues and squares. The direct organization of the party involves the participation of 100 thousand people. Its dimensions are gigantic. Salvador receives an average of 800 thousand visitors from municipalities located as far as 150 kilometers (93 miles) away, from several States of Brazil and from a number of other countries (Europe, U.S.A., Israel, Argentina, Australia, and many others).

The cover was done by 2,446 professionals in local press, national, and international. The carnival was broadcast to 135 countries through 65 radio stations, 75 magazines, 139 producers of video, 97 newspapers (21 international), 14 tv stations, and 168 websites.

Rei Momo: The King of Carnival, Momo, is handed the keys to the city in the morning, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, and the party officially begins. Camarotes: These grandstands line the street in the neighborhood of Campo Grande. Watch the show from here without being trampled by the crowd. Trios Eléctricos: Outfitted with deafening sound systems, these 60-foot-long trucks carry a kick line of gyrating, scantily clad dancers along with the city's best-loved performers, among them Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury, Cláudia Leitte, Chiclete com Banana, Carlinhos Brown, and others.

The music played during Carnaval includes Axé and Samba-reggae. Many "blocos" participate in Carnaval, the "blocos afros" like Malé Debalé, Olodum and Filhos de Gandhi being the most famous of them. Carnival is heavily policed. Stands with five or six seated police officers are erected everywhere and the streets are constantly patrolled by police groups moving in single file.

The Osmar Circuit: goes from Campo Grande to Castro Alves square, The Downtown Circuit, in Downtown and Pelourinho, and The Dodô Circuit; goes from Farol da Barra to Ondina, along the coast. The Osmar circuit is the oldest circuit. It is also where the event's most traditional groups parades. In Dodô, where the artist box seats are located, the party becomes lively toward the end of the afternoon and it continues until morning.

The three Carnival Circuits are:

  • The Campo Grande - Praça Castro Alves Circuit, also called the "Osmar" Circuit, or simply the "Avenidas" ("Avenues");
  • The Barra - Ondina Circuit, also called the "Dodô" Circuit;
  • The Pelourinho Circuit, also called the "Batatinha" ("Little potato") Circuit.

Summer Festival

The Salvador Summer Festival, is an annual five-day music extravaganza that this year is to feature its usual who's who of Brazilian popular music: Daniela Mercury, Eva, Capital Inicial, Titãs, Skank, Jota Quest, Ivete Sangalo, Chiclete com Banana, Ana Carolina, and others. The price of admission has yet to be set. The shows begin Jan. 28 at the Parque das Exposições on Paralela Avenue.

Funk and Bahia Funk Dances

Funk has become a musical genre in Brazil that exemplifies how many influences, in and out of Brazil, merged with Brazilian culture in the 20th century to form a new hybrid sound. Funk originated as a black American form of music that started in the 1960s and included artists like James Brown and The Funk Brothers. The music spread across the world finding its way to Brazil, showing that North American and black North American influences were already conspicuous in the musical cultures of Brazilians. In travelling to Brazil, it reached Rio de Janeiro, a city "that played a key role in the soul and funk phenomena".

Although funk was embraced by many parts of Brazil, its sound would eventually become localized so the music would differ from city to city. This difference can be viewed with the funk scenes in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. The music and the environment are all representative of the city where one listens to funk music.

For instance, the music played in Salvador at a Black Bahia Funk Ball is more American than its counterpart in Rio de Janeiro. Music material from Rio, which sells reasonably well around Rio, is poorly known in Salvador and, in any case, held to be inferior and "less modern" than funk sung in English. Another difference can be seen with the funk dancehalls. The Ball incorporates the entire setting, which entails the attire, the slang, the specific way of dancing break, the decoration, the organization of permanent dance groups. These dancehalls are a place for everyone to come together to have fun before the start of another work week. Even the dance rivalries are not true rivalries in the sense that the dance groups do not physically fight one another. The group members do all their battling on the dance floor, using their dance moves as their weapons to demonstrate their dance skill and superiority.


Salvador is home to a vibrant theater scene. Among the many theaters are: Castro Alves Theatre (TCA), Sala do Côro (mini Theatre in Castro Alves Theatre), IRDEB Theatre (TV Educativa), SENAC Theatre (Pelourinho), ICÉIA Theatre, Museu Eugênio Teixeira Leal Theatre (Pelourinho), Barra Theatre, Espaço Xisto Theatre, Maria Betânia Theatre, Jorge Amado Theatre, Diplomata Theatre, Sesi Rio Vermelho Theatre, Vila Velha Theatre, XVIII Theatre, ISBA Theatre, Santo Antônio Theatre, ACBEU Theatre, Anchieta Theatre, Nazaré Theatre, ICBA Theatre, Gamboa Theatre, Gregório de Mattos Theatre, Módulo Theatre, Miguel Santana Theatre, Cultural Theatre, Cine Casa do Comércio Theatre, Dias Gomes Theatre (Sindicato dos Comerciários), Plataforma Theatre.


cabinet of reading.]] The first books that arrived in Salvador, were brought by the Jesuits, who came with Tomé de Souza. The first libraries or bookstores that appeared were under the control of the religious missionaries and were mostly composed of books on religion. Areas combining leisure and culture, Salvador's libraries are an entertainment option for tourists and researchers. Some of these spaces have religious origins, some of them are temples of knowledge accessible only to a few, due to the fragility of the relics they contain.

The Benedictine, Carmelites, Franciscans and Capuchin orders have in Salvador, titles related to fundamental aspects of the state's history, being important for a comprehensive view of the political, religious, moral and artistic formation of the city. Conversely to the restrictive religious libraries, the public libraries and the ones linked to institutions that give incentive to culture and information, provide the general public with a variety of titles. Salvador's libraries are: Arquivo Histórico Municipal, Biblioteca Acbeu, Biblioteca Aloísio da França Rocha, Biblioteca Anísio Teixeira, Biblioteca da Fundação João Fernandes da Cunha, Biblioteca do Centro Cultural Prof. Ademar Cardoso, Biblioteca do Museu de Arte da Bahia, Biblioteca do Serviço Social do Comércio, Biblioteca Juracy Magalhães Júnior, Biblioteca Ministro Coqueijo Costa, Biblioteca Monteiro Lobato, Biblioteca Mosteiro de São Bento da Bahia, Biblioteca Pública do Estado da Bahia, Centro de Documentação Cultural sobre a Bahia, Gabinete Português de Leitura.


The handcraft legacy of Bahia, which was strongly influenced by the three people responsible for the construction of its cultural and ethnic identity. Using only raw materials (straw, leather, clay, wood, seashells and beads), the most rudimentary crafts are reasonably unexpensive. Other pieces are created with the use of metals like gold, silver, copper and brass. The most sophisticated ones are ornamented with precious and semi-precious gems. The craftsmen and women generally choose religion as the main theme of their work. .]] They portray the images of Catholic saints and Candomble deities on their pieces. The good luck charms such as the clenched fist, the four leaf clover, the garlic and the famous Bonfim ribbons, express the city's religious syncretism. Nature is also portrayed on these pieces, reflecting the local wildlife. Music appears in the atabaque drums, the rain sticks, the water drums and the famous berimbau, along with other typical instruments.

Salvador holds an international reputation of a city where musical instruments that produce unique sounds are made. These instruments are frequently used by world famous artists in their recording sessions. A place to see Salvador's handcrafts production is Mercado Modelo, which is the biggest handcraft center in Latin America. Pieces can also be purchased at Instituto de Artesanato de Mauá and at Instituto do Patrimônio Artístico e Cultural (IPAC). These are organizations that promote typical art in Bahia. In Pelourinho there are a variety of stores selling souvenirs to visitors.

Human rights and gay rights

Salvador is also home to the oldest, continuous gay rights and human rights organization in Brazil, the Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB). Established by Dr. Luiz Mott in 1980 and currently headed by Marcelo Cerqueira, GGB has played a central role in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality movement both in Bahia and across Brazil, and has helped to educate the local population on HIV and AIDS prevention and human rights abuses. The Gruppo Gay da Bahia has been active and organizes weekly gatherings in the old quarter Pelourinho (Historic Centre of Salvador). Salvador's gay pride parade is now one of the largest in Brazil, approximately 300,000 people.

The city offers many options: 4 gay night clubs (Off Club, Tropical, Originally and Queens); 6 gay saunas (Sauna Paradise, Esgrima, Sauna Rio's, Sauna Campos, Sauna Olympus, Sauna Phoenix and Thermas Persona); gay bars (Beco dos Artistas, Da Vinci, Babalotin, and many others); gay beaches (Porto da Barra - right part and Praia dos Artistas).


International Airport

.]] Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport is located in an area of more than 6 million square meters between sand dunes and native vegetation. The airport lies 20 km (12 mi) north of Downtown Salvador and the road to the airport has already become one of the city's main scenic attractions. In 2007, the airport handled 5,920,573 passengers and 91,043 aircraft movements, placing it 5th busiest airport in Brazil in terms of passengers. The airport's use has been growing at an average of 14% a year and now is responsible for more than 30% of passenger movement in Northeastern Brazil. Nearly 35 thousand people circulate daily through the passenger terminal. The airport generates more than 16 thousand direct and indirect jobs, to serve a daily average of over 10 thousand passengers, 250 takeoffs and landings of 100 domestic and 16 international flights. Buses between the city centre and the airport are fairly frequent and cheaper than taxis. Buses also go to Rodoviária (Bus Terminal), which is the city's main bus station and located 5 km (3 mi) from the city centre.

There are good cafes and fast food restaurants at the airport. A bar offers alcoholic or soft drinks. There are several shops in the terminal building selling a variety of items, including fashion clothing, jewellery, gift items and books and magazines. There is also a pharmacy in the terminal building. Buses between the city centre and the airport are fairly frequent. Take the Praça da Sé (Sé Square)/Aeroporto bus. It is much cheaper than going by taxi. Buses also go to Rodoviária (Bus Terminal), which is the city's main bus station and located 5 km (3 mi) from the city centre. The car park of the airport, is located near the terminal building and has parking spaces for 600 cars. In addition to domestic and regional services, the airport has non-stop flights to Miami, United States, Madrid, Spain, Frankfurt, Germany, Lisbon, Portugal, London, United Kingdom, Montevideo, Uruguay, Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Asunción, Paraguay. Its IATA airport code is SSA and the first in Northeastern Brazil.


of the city.]] With cargo volume that grows year after year following the same economic development rhythm implemented in the State, the Port of Salvador, located in the Bahi

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Gato Monge
14 July 2013
HISTORIC CENTRE OF SALVADOR DE BAHIA As the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador de Bahia witnessed the blending of European, African and Amerindian cultures.
Gato Monge
14 July 2013
HISTORIC CENTRE OF SALVADOR DE BAHIA - World Heritage UNESCO As the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador de Bahia witnessed the blending of European, African and Amerindian cultures.
Josemar Oliveira
8 November 2017
Fernando Rocha
3 May 2013
add ai no face
Josemar Oliveira
8 November 2017
Marília ⠀⠀
9 September 2014
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