Things to do in Salvador
When you go to Salvador, Brazil, situated on a peninsula located
on Bahia's coast, you have to visit the most historic area of
Pelourinho, with its cobblestone streets and colorful colonial
Pelourinho is the older city within the city of Salvador and
means whipping post in Portuguese; where slaves were punished in
the days of slavery.
It was abolished in 1835 and since that horrid past, the
city has grown into a mecca of musicians and artists, much like
Greenwich Village in New York.
Its nickname is Pelo or Cidade Alta with many blocks of
the older buildings surrounding a triangular Largo and contains
the city's best restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques.
Even with the influx of artisans coming into the area,
the 1990s brought a renaissance of restoration and renovation
that revitalized the area making it more popular to tourists and
visitors from around the country and continent.
It has been placed on the national historic register and
was named a world cultural center by UNESCO.
Walking is the main transportation in the area with
everything in close proximity.
Every street has something to offer the visitor with
grand old churches, pastel-hued houses and buildings,
restaurants, shops and galleries.
The winter months of June through August, just the
opposite of the United States and North America, is sometimes
rainy and days cool enough for a jacket.
The rest of the time it is very hot, however tempered by
the ocean and bay breezes.
Use a hotel or pousada that is recommended by a reputable
site, such as Frommers or Tripadvisor, and use the bus service
around the city which is cheaper than a cab; as these will
sometimes take advantage of a visitor not used to the language
and local customs.
The local cuisine is a flavorful mixture of Brazilian and
African dishes, with a big use of coconuts, shrimp, spices,
ginger, hot peppers, dende oil made from palm trees, but should
be used sparingly until your stomach is used to it.
Advice is given to try the comida-a-quilo restaurants
which allow you to serve yourself and pay by the weight.
The city itself is located on a plateau overlooking the
harbor area and has become a cultural center with artists from
all genres coming to the city to enjoy its bountiful fruits.
Solar do Unhao
The Solar is an impressive architectural structure that housed
the Chapel of Our
Lady, then it became a private home, with an aqueduct for water
delivery to the house, a fountain and later became a place to
store slaves before selling them on the open market.
It housed a still at one time, probably to distill sugar
cane into alcohol; and because of these various uses, now houses
the Museum of
Modern Art of Bahia.
The land was given to the Benedictine monks in 1584, and
then changed hands in 1690 to Unhao Pedro Castelo Branco, who
then sold the property to Jose Pires de Carvalho e Albuquerque
in 1700. He then
established a morgado and the land went into a golden phase from
that time until the early 20th century.
A chapel was built on the grounds in 1740 and a
christening of his children occurred.
As the years progressed, the sugar industry declined and
the house was rented out; which caused some dilapidation to
happen. Then in the
early 19th century, one of the family moved back in and restored
the home to its pristine condition, and again a sugar mill was
operated from there until 1926.
The area where the still had been was used for storage
for the port and then when World War II started, it became a
barracks for the marines.
In 1940, after much decay, the home was given to the
department of National Historical and Artistic Heritage and was
designated to become the home of the Museum of Modern Art of
Bahia. Lina Bo
Bardi came to help restore the magnificent building in 1969 and
it was opened the same year.
There are 8 rooms dedicated to art, an exhibition hall, a
theater, auditorium, video room, library and specialized
database. The old
slave quarters have been turned into a restaurant specializing
in the Bahaian cuisine.
The main building or the manor contains the museum, with
its contemporary art totaling over a 1000 works by various
The outside area has become a garden of sculptures and opened in
1997 with great works by the Brazilian sculptors.
Historic City Center
Salvador meaning savior in Portuguese, is
found on the northeast coast of Brazil and is the capital of the
state of Bahia. It
is known as the capital of happiness because of the easygoing
people and numerous outdoor parties; especially the street
carnival. It was the
country's first capital and is one of the oldest cities in
country and even the New World.
Known as Bahia for a long time, it is the third most
populated city in Brazil and known for its outstanding cuisine,
architecture and music.
The metro area is the richest in the area with almost 80%
having ancestral roots from Africa.
This influence is seen in many of the Afro-Brazilian
culture and the buildings were built in the 17th centuries.
It was made a UNESCO site in 1985 and is a fantastic
adventure to experience.
It is a main export hub, having a natural harbor inside
the triangular peninsula with roads going into the interior
which is a huge agricultural and industrial region.
The natural escarpment helps the city be divided and over
the years has helped it develop into the magnificent and
beautiful city it is.
Most of the administrative areas are above the lower city
and an elevator has run between the two since 1873.