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Salvador, The city of Sao Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos
was founded in 1549. But since the first years of the XVI century,
after the Portuguese discovered new lands, the place where the urban
area was later erected had been known already. It called the attention
of sailors in that bay that the place was so favorable for the anchorage
In that same year, Salvador became the first capital of Brazil until
1763, when the colonial administration was moved to Rio de Janeiro.
During that period, the city played an important strategic role
in the defense and colonization of the territory. That is why the
Portuguese tried to erect a fortified city on top a hill.
The construction of the new metropolis followed well-defined plans
that may be recognized in the urban space that nowadays is occupied
by the Historical Center -main public and religious buildings were
protected in the higher part of the city. Even though, Salvador
underwent the Dutch occupation for some months in 1624. A new attack
of the same Dutch in 1638 was not successful. Invaders were repelled
The Salvadorian population (in Portuguese, Soteropolitena, adapted
from the Greek soteropolis, "city of salvation", according
to Aurélio dictionary) is formed by the same mixture of ethnic
groups that mark the base of the Brazilian people -Blacks, Indians
and Europeans. In Salvador, the biggest port for entering slaves
brought from Africa since the middle of the XVI century, the African
cultural influence always prevailed. It is noticeable in religion,
arts, food, and in many other aspects of the life of Salvadorian
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syncretism is mainly expressed in candomblé (Brazilian voodoo),
which mixed rites brought from Africa by slaves with Catholicism.
Churches in Salvador receive followers of candomblé, like in
Nossa Senhora do Bonfim, where every year women from Bahia dressed
in typical costumes and do the cleaning of the steps. In candomblé
grounds with ceremonies open to the public, it is possible to help
babalorixás, ialorixás and iaôsto (fathers, mothers
and daughters of the saints) invoking, by means of dances and singing,
orixás, entities that personify the forces of nature. Other
symbol of the African culture in Salvador is capoeira. Original from
Angola, it was used by slaves as a form of defense and attack. Nowadays
is a very popular combination of fight and dance. Capoeira members
swing from side to side and hit acrobatic blows using mainly their
legs. Meanwhile, the other members surround them in a circle and sing
accompanied by percussion instruments like berimbau, agogôs
Walking along the Historical Center, especially through old alleys
and squares of Pelourinho neighborhood, is to observe constructions
of the XVIII and XIX centuries: old big houses formerly belonging
to sugar barons, beautiful baroque churches and majestic public buildings
that serve as stage for the people who preserve its cultural roots
and take them to the streets, sharing them with visitors. Capoeira,
acarajé, patuá, candomblé, atabaque, moqueca,
bobó and berimbau are some of the words that manifest the cultural
riches of Salvador and that may be better understood by simply answering
a question that is part of a song by one of Brazil's greatest composers,
Dorival Caymmi: "have you been to Bahia yet?"
And it is also on the streets that Salvadorians make their parties.
Salvador lives every year an intense calendar of popular events. Mostly
in the period between New Year's Eve and Carnival, the city becomes
venue of great celebrations, which reveal the deep religious feeling
and happiness of its inhabitants.
Salvador has its cosmopolitan side. One of the most sought-for Brazilian
destinations by tourists from all regions in Brazil and abroad, the
city receives visitors with a diversified network of accommodations
that is constantly modernizing. It is possible to opt between high-quality
hotels and charming posadas set up in historical old houses. And together
with its restaurants and street-stands that serve delicious regional
delicacies, the visitor finds places of superior international gastronomy
-French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, among others. Besides a modern
airport, the city has infrastructure for events and conventions. When
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