Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia Salvador is the capital of the state of Bahia, Brazil. With a charming Old Town (a World Heritage Site), a vibrant musical scene and popular Carnival celebrations, it is considered one of the birthplaces of Brazilian culture.
As the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763, Salvador de Bahia witnessed the blending of European, African and Amerindian cultures. It was also, from 1558, the first slave market in the New World, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations.
The city has managed to preserve many outstanding Renaissance buildings. A special feature of the old town are the brightly coloured houses, often decorated with fine stucco-work.
Salvador de Bahia is an eminent example of Renaissance urban town planning adapted to a colonial site by having an upper city of a defensive, administrative and residential nature which overlooks the lower city where commercial activities revolve around the port.
The density of monuments makes it, along with Ouro Preto, the colonial city par excellence in the Brazilian Northeast. It is one of the major points of convergence of European, African and American Indian cultures in the 16th-18th centuries.
Visiting a Salvador beach is a highlight for many tourists. One of the main central Salvador beaches is Porto de Barra. It was originally the site of the first settlement of european newcomers to Bahia.