Salvador da Bahia / Brazil
The million metropolis of Salvador da Bahia was until 1763 the capital of Brazil. Its old town is located on a plateau and is a Unesco world cultural heritage. It houses 300 churches and monasteries from the colonial period. Once hundreds of thousands of black Africans were taken to Salvador as slaves. There they were sold on the market square.
Great avenues and magnificent boulevards characterize the cityscape.
The center of the old town still is today the Praca Pelourinho, the largest baroque residential district in the world. In the suburbs is the mercado Modelo. Here you can buy cheap Bahian handicrafts and musical instruments. Salvador has long sandy beaches. They are also visited by the local people on weekends. The closest beach Porto da Barra is, however, over the weekends hopelessly overfilled.
Salvador has its own atmosphere. Here, on the one hand, different cultures have intermingled; on the other hand, most black Brazilians live in the state of Bahia. Their influence is particularly important in the cultural field. The war dance Capoeira is a special rite. It is carried out without opponents touching. Above all, the African influence can be recognized in people's religion. Thus, Salvador is far from Rio de Janeiro stronghold of the Umbanda: this religion came with the slaves to South America and has, despite the widespread Catholicism in Brazil, many supporters.