Salvador de Bahia is the City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints. Or Brazil’s capital of all happiness if you prefer. It is located on a small peninsula between Todos os Santos Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The bay was discovered on All Saints Day.
The area was colonized by the Portuguese in 1500 by Pedro Ivares Cabral. The city was established in 1549 by Tome de Sousa who would be the first Governor-General of Brazil. The colony was built on a high cliff with views of All Saints Bay. It was one of the first major ports in Brazil. The area was settled by many Dutch and Jewish immigrants between the 1600’s and the 1800’s. The area still remained mostly Catholic and became the first Catholic bishopric of Brazil in 1552. Today it is still one of the most holy cities in Brazil. It was the original capital of Brazil until 1763. The area was liberated from Portuguese control on July 2, 1823. It has recently been rebuilt to become a major tourist area.
The whole area of Salvador de Bahia is surrounded by beaches. Porto da Barra Beach was named the 3rd best beach in the world in 2007 by the Guardian. It was very popular in the 60’s as a hangout for Tropicalistas Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil and today continues to be a popular hangover for local musicians. The water is very calm but the beaches do get crowded, especially on the weekends. Some of the other beaches you should visit include Farol da Barra, Itapoan, Farol de Itapoan, and Piata. Some of these beaches have some rough surf but you can still sit back and enjoy the views of the lighthouses. (more…)