Well sheltered, the culturally most interesting historic city in Brazil nestles in a calm bay alongside the Atlantic Ocean, Salvador Da Bahia, former capital of the Portuguese colonies.
In 1549 more than a thousand Europeans, among them Captain Tomé De Souza, founded a town and colony and up until 1763, Salvador Da Bahia was the capital of Brazil, its wealth having been derived from tobacco, sugarcane and cacao.
The Franciscan Order commenced with the religious education of the Tupinamba Indians and in addition to the feudal civic houses, a splendid monastery and church were built. Ordem Primeira De Saó Francisco is one of the most splendid Baroque complexes in Brazil. Its arcades are particularly impressive as they possess a contemplative atmosphere with walls covered with azulejos.
In the old town there is nothing to indicate the slave markets of old and the degrading treatment suffered by both captive Africans and local Indians. In the eighteenth century the plantation owners flaunted their wealth and decorated female slaves with precious jewelery.
Salvador Da Bahia is a melting pot of various cultures. A fine town of the former white colonial masters and a living space for African gods!
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.