Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia

800px-salvador-ccby10

Street of Salvador (Fernando Dallacqua/Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0).

Bahia State, north-east region of Brazil
S12 58 22.501 W38 30 46.732
Date of Inscription: 1985
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Property : 200 ha
Buffer zone: 452 ha
Ref: 309
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As the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador de Bahia witnessed the blending of European, African and Amerindian cultures. It was also, from 1558, the first slave market in the New World, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. The city has managed to preserve many outstanding Renaissance buildings. A special feature of the old town are the brightly coloured houses, often decorated with fine stucco-work.

Founded in 1549 on a small peninsula that separates Todos os Santos Bay from the Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil, Salvador de Bahia became Portuguese America’s first capital and remained so until 1763. Its founding and historic role as colonial capital associate it with the theme of world exploration. Salvador de Bahia’s historic centre – an eminent example of Renaissance urban structuring adapted to a colonial site – is the Cidade Alta (Upper Town), a defensive, administrative and residential neighbourhood perched atop an 85-m-high escarpment. This densely built colonial city par excellence of the Brazilian northeast is distinguished by its religious, civil and military colonial architecture dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Salvador de Bahia is also notable as one of the major points of convergence of European, African and American Indian cultures of the 16th to 18th centuries.

The settlement of Salvador de Bahia, strategically situated overlooking an immense bay on the Brazilian coast, was aimed at centralising the activities of the metropolis in Portuguese America and facilitating trade with Africa and the Far East. The city grew quickly, becoming Brazil’s main seaport and an important centre of the sugar industry and the slave trade. The historic centre’s main districts are Sé, Pelourinho, Misericórdia, São Bento, Taboão, Carmo and Santo Antônio. Pelourinho is characterized by its fidelity to the 16th-century plan, the density of its monuments and the homogeneity of its construction. In addition to major buildings dating to the 17th and 18th centuries such as the Catedral Basílica de Salvador and the churches and convents of São FranciscoSão DomingosCarmo and Santo Antônio, the Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia retains a number of 16th-century public spaces, including the Municipal Plaza, the Largo Terreiro de Jesus and the Largo de São Francisco, as well as baroque palaces, among them the Palácio do ArcebispadoPalácio Saldanha and Palácio Ferrão. There are many streets lined with brightly coloured houses, often decorated with fine stucco-work, that are characteristic of the colonial city. Salvador de Bahia was also, from 1558, the first slave market in the New World, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. Echoes of this multicultural past survive to the present day in the historic centre’s rich tangible and intangible heritage.

Criterion (iv): Salvador de Bahia is an eminent example of Renaissance urban structuring adapted to a colonial site having an upper city of a defensive, administrative and residential nature which overlooks the lower city where commercial activities revolve around the port. The density of monuments, with Ouro Preto (included on the World Heritage List in 1980), makes it the colonial city par excellence in the Brazilian northeast.

Criterion (vi): Salvador de Bahia is one of the major points of convergence of European, African and American Indian cultures of the 16th to 18th centuries. Its founding and historic role as capital of Brazil quite naturally associate it with the theme of world exploration already illustrated by the inclusion on the World Heritage List of the Old Havana (1982), Angra do Heroismo (1983), San Juan de Puerto Rico (1983), and Cartagena (1984). 

Suggested Bases:

Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil. With a charming Old Town (a World Heritage Site), a vibrant musical scene and popular Carnaval celebrations, it is considered one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture. It is the biggest city in the Northeast region, and was the first capital of Brazil. Salvador is a enchanting city full of mysteries and charms. To undestand Salvador you need to be open minded, there are milions of tourists every year flocking to Salvador to enjoy the head in its beaches,it is a city to know by foot, its dense historical areas such the pelourinho and the Lacerda lift, the first urban lift in the world, and ist mercado central are areas you cant miss out. Founded in 1549 by the Portuguese, Salvador was the capital in the heyday of the slave trade. The legacy remains today in its large Afro-Brazilian population, and the resulting culture in many ways outshines the rest of Brazil; in music, many of the greatest names from the mid-20th century to the present hail from Salvador, such as Dorival Caymmi, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso [read more].

Feira de Santana is a city in the Central North of Bahia, in Northeastern Brazil. Feira de Santana is the second largest city in the state. See Antares Astronomical Observatory (Observatório Astronômico Antares); Casa do Sertão; Contemporary Art Museum (Museu de Arte Contemporânea); Feira de Santana Regional Museum (Museu Regional de Feira de Santana); Forest Garden (Horto Florestal); Paço Municipal; Parque da Cidade; and Parque do Saber [read more].

Camaçari is a city in Bahia, Brazil. It is located at 12°41′51″S 38°19′27″W. It is part of the Salvador Metropolitan Region (Região Metropolitana de Salvador), being the industrial city of the metropolis. Camaçari covers 784.658 km2 (302.958 sq mi), and had an estimated population of 304,302 in 2020, with a population density of 310 per square kilometer. The municipality consists of three districts: Camaçari, Abrantes, and Monte Gordo. The area of Camaçari was inhabited by Tupinambá ethnic group prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. The first Portuguese settlement was in 1558 by two Jesuit priests, João Gonçalves and Antônio Rodrigues. They formed a village called Aldeia do Divino Espírito Santo. Aldeia do Divino Espírito Santo played an important role in the expulsion of the Dutch who arrived in Bahia in the 17th century. Troops under the leadership of bishop D. Mark Teixeira drove out the Dutch in 1624. The name of the village was changed to Vila de Nova Abrantes do Espírito Santo on September 28, 1758 under orders from the Marquiq de Pombal [read more].

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