Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, just north of Recife and south of Paulista. It has a population of 397,268 people and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.
Olinda features a number of major touristic attractions, such as a historic downtown area (World Heritage Site), churches, and the Carnival of Olinda, a popular street party, very similar to traditional Portuguese carnivals, with the addition of African influenced dances.
Unlike in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, in Olinda, admission to Carnival is free. All the festivities are celebrated on the streets, and there are no bleachers or roping. There are hundreds of small musical groups (sometimes featuring a single performer) in many genres.
Several indigenous tribes occupied the coast of Northeastern Brazil for several thousand years, and the hills of the present day municipality of Olinda had settlements of Caetes and Tupinamba tribes, which were frequently at war.
Olinda was the capital of the hereditary captaincy of Pernambuco, but was burned by Dutch invaders. The Portuguese built their town on the hill, for practical purposes (sewers) and to make it easier to defend. In the 17th century the Kingdom of Portugal was united with Spain (the 1580-1640 Iberian Union period).
Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is also one of the most important of Brazil's cultural centers. Declared in 1982 a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Carnival, in the rhythm of frevo, maracatu and others rhythms.