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Salvador

Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, was also the first capital of colonial Brazil. Founded in 1510, the place was first named São Salvador da Bahia (Baía) de Todos os Santos (St. Salvador of the Bay of All Saints), to which the population informally competed with “...e de Quase Todos os Pecados” (...and of Nearly all Sins). And, Adventure World Brasil would say gluttony is definitely the easiest one to make us fall in temptation. The scent of Acarajé (an African-Brazilian dish made of shrimp and eyed beans fried in palm oil) just ruins any intended diet.

But the dish isn`t the only African inheritance one can find in Salvador. From Capoeira martial arts to religious ceremonies of Candomblé and many dedicated festivals, the city preserved like no other the African traditions brought over by the numerous slaves, brought to work on the sugar-cane fields. The city`s period of glory was sustained by these plantations, which granted the city its enormous mansions, magnificent churches and all the most wonderful constructions money could build at the time. It wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century that Brazil’s capital was moved to Rio de Janeiro (and later on to Brasilia), due to the decline of the sugar-cane industry.

Farol da Barra is one of the most iconic buildings in Salvador (and in Brazilian History). The lighthouse was built inside Forte Santo Antônio da Barra, after the wreckage of Galleon Santíssimo Sacramento. It is the oldest lighthouse in the continent, which is no surprise considering the importance of Salvador’s harbor in the colonial times.

Solar do Unhão is another great example of Salvador’s colonial architecture. Not only is it an amazing cultural sight, the place also houses the city’s museum of modern arts and a renowned seafood restaurant.

If you had to chose a place that told the history of Salvador and its transformations, marked by both wealth and slavery, and the rich cultural life that was produced as a result, Pelourinho (pillory) would be it. What used to be a place where slaves were whipped became a cultural center, where you can find musicians, painters, and all kinds of performing arts. In 1991, it went through a massive restoration of housing facades. Pelourinho is listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Center.

Among the many churches of the city, the most famous one is Igreja do Bonfim. Apart from the noteworthy Senhor do Bonfim ribbons, the church is mostly known for the washing of its stairways with scented water, in a procession that happens every January.

But, if one wants to see the most of Salvador at once, Elevador do Lacerda is the place to go. Built in 1872 (and restored in 2002, it is important to say), it stands 72m over the city, and connects Cidade Alta to Cidade Baixa. Though it is actually a form of transportation for many people, it is also visited by those who just want a magnificent view of the bay and the district of Comércio (commercial district).

Still, let’s not forget, we’re talking about a city on the shore - and what a shore! The northeast waters grant Salvador beaches the most pleasant temperature. Porto da Barra is one of the few Brazilian continental beaches, all on the east, where the sunset occurs over the sea. There, one can see Forte de Santa Maria, and the ruins of the original pier. But Itapoã beach, which has also inspired the verses of Vinícius de Moraes, is where one of Salvador’s most terrific happenings occurs. The place was identified as a spawn point for sea-turtles. As a result, Project TAMAR, dedicated to the preservation of those sea-turtles, was born.

But there are many more incredible beaches and places to visit in Salvador. So, prepare, because it’s long trip.
 


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Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
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