The city of Sao Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos was founded in 1549 and soon became the first capital of Brazil (Portuguese colony). Up until 1763, when the colonial administration was moved to Rio de Janeiro, 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.
Walking along the Historical Center, especially through old alleys and squares of the Pelourinho district, one can observe constructions of the XVIII and XIX centuries: old big houses formerly belonging to sugar barons, beautiful baroque churches and majestic public buildings. Capoeira, acarajé, patuá, candomblé, atabaque, moqueca, bobó and berimbau are some of the words that manifest the rich culture 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 lyricists, Dorival Caymmi: "have you been to Bahia yet?"
With an extensive shoreline and a constant year round temperature (around 25º C/ 77º F), Salvador is an invitation to outdoor leisure activities. The city’s tropical climate is enhanced by a steady gentle breeze blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean and the All Saints’ Bay. With approximately 50 Km of beaches and one third of the shores of the All Saints’ Bay, Salvador is the ideal location for relaxing seaside vacations.
It is considered the cultural capital of Brazil. Its people is formed by native Americans, Portuguese and Africans and present an unique ethnic and cultural diversity that stands out for its harmonious and democratic coexistence, rarely found in the world today. The particular traits of each ethnic group that forms the city’s population create original music, dance and many other artistic and cultural expressions.
The city lives an intense calendar of popular events every year. Mostly during the period between New Year's Eve and Carnival, the city becomes a stage for great celebrations, which reveal the deep religious feeling and joy of its inhabitants.