SALVADOR DA BAHIA
I remember that I thought it was a big city and I was expecting something similar to Rio but I quickly understood that Salvador is very different… its history, its culture, its music and its food… everything was completely different.
Founded by the Portuguese in 1549 as the first capital of Brazil, Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. A sharp escarpment divides its Lower Town (Cidade Baixa) from its Upper Town (Cidade Alta) by some 85 meters (279 ft). The Elevador Lacerda, Brazil's first urban elevator, has connected the two since 1873. The Pelourinho district of the upper town, still home to many examples of Portuguese colonial architecture and historical monuments, was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Walking in the center of Salvador, you directly feel emerged in African influence and its history. In the historical center, where a slave auction once stood, a group of black capoeira acrobats and musicians set up on a daily basis and put on a show. The food of the city, such as moqueca, feels like it comes straight from West Africa.
The state of Bahia has the largest African population outside of the African continent. Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, serving as the center of the slave trade in Brazil. As a result, this city has a blend of mainly African and Portuguese as well as some Amerindian influence, which can be seen through its food, language, music, dance, religion and architecture, especially the cobblestone roads and antique buildings located in the Pelourinho neighborhood.