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10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Salvador  November 3, 2017 – 12:24 pm

1 Pelourinho

Salvador's Cidade Alta (Upper Town), which was the governmental and residential center when the city was the capital of the colony of Brazil, sits on an escarpment 85 meters above the shore. At its heart, in the district known as Pelourinho, is the finest ensemble of 17th- and 18th-century colonial buildings in Latin America, so outstanding that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Rua Gregório de Matos are the Museu da Cidade (City Museum), with life-size Candomblé figures used in ceremonial dances, and the Abelardo Rodrigues Museum, containing sacred art and folk art, housed in a 1701 mansion. Prédio do Senac is a school of gastronomy where you can sample typical Bahian dishes; in the evenings you can often find dance performances and other folk events here. Also in the Pelourinho quarter is the Casa de Benin, devoted to the culture of the old kingdom of Benin (now southern Nigeria), from which most of the slaves were shipped to Bahia.

São Francisco

In a city known for its strikingly ornate churches, São Francisco stands out as the most highly decorated, its interior awash in gold-covered wood carving. The gilding of the high altar is so ornate that it took two years to complete. The church mingles Mannerist and Baroque styles and was built between 1708 and 1750. The ceiling is painted in scenes and themes associated with the Virgin Mary, and the choir combines elaborate wood carving with azulejo (tiled) pictures. The walls of the adjoining square cloister are also faced with superb Portuguese azulejo pictures.

Directly next to the friary church is the impressive carved facade of the Igreja da Terceira Ordem de Sao Francisco, church of the Franciscan Third Order. Statues of saints and angels and other sculptural decoration covering the face of the church, along with the sumptuous decoration of the interior, outdoes the Portuguese and Italian Baroque, resembling the Spanish Churrigueresque style so popular in colonial Mexico.

Address: Cruzeiro de Sao Francisco, Salvador, Bahia

Cathedral Jesuit College - Floor plan map Igreja da Ordem Terceira do Carmo (Carmelite Church) Igreja do Senhor do Bonfim


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