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VISITING Saint Savior of the Bay of all Saints

My job at FIFA forced me to travel to São Salvador da Bahia de todos os Santos (Saint Savior of the Bay of all Saints), the capital of the northeastern state of Bahia, in Brazil, because the city will host matches of 2014 FIFA World Cup.

I took the advantage of that fact to visit the city; to plan my tour, to know where to go and how to get there, using public transportations, I used gps navigation USA and Brazil, that I had installed in my phone.

São Salvador da Bahia, one of the oldest cities in America and one the most popular touristic destinations of the country, was founded by the Portuguese (Brazil was a former Portugal colony) in the 16th century (1549) and became the first colonial capital of Brazil; the city is located Salvador is located on a peninsula that separates “Todos os Santos Bay” (the name of the bay is due to the fact that it was discovered on All Saints ‘Day) from the Atlantic Ocean.

The morphology of the terrain where the city is planted presents an escarpment that divides São Salvador da Bahia into two parts

To the city are connected some of the most important Brazilian composers and singers (Caetano Veloso, Maria Beth

I dedicated my first day to visit the historical center, known as the “Pelourinho” (Pillory) that exists in the central plaza of the area, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site due to the fact that the old houses, mainly dated from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, are an example of Portuguese colonial architecture.

At the historical center I visited the Cathedral, a former Jesuit church that was built in the 17th century and that is an example of the architecture that emerged from the High Renaissance style at the end of 16th century, the Manneirism, the Convent and Church of St. Francis, dated from the 18th century, another example of Portuguese colonial architecture, with an interior decoration in the Baroque style and the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, which image is the most venerated at São Salvador da Bahia, built in the 18th century in the Rococo style and an interior decoration in the Neoclassical style,

I also visited the Model Market, close to the historical center and located at one of the oldest commercial areas of the city, the “Com shops and restaurants of traditional cuisine.

One way to go from the Lower Town to the Upper Tower is using the Lacerda Elevator, the first urban elevator in the world inaugurate in 1873. From the towers of the elevator we can admire “Todos os Santos Bay”, the “Model Market” and “São Marcelo Fort”, known as “Forte do Mar”, built in the 17th century to protect the port of the city.

In the evening I had the chance to watch a “Capoeira” show; “Capoeira” has an Afro-Brazilian origin, due to the African slaves that Portugal sent to Brazil, is a mix of dance and martial art.

In the second day, in the morning, I went to Barra quarter and I decided to relax at “Farol da Barra” beach, (the Farol  in the southern area of the city, prior to visit the “Fort Santo António da Barra”, built in the 16th century to protect the “Todos os Santos Bay” and “Fort Santa Maria”, the first one built in the city, in the 17th century to protect “Barra Port”, and do some shopping at Barra area, where I also visited the port, the lighthouse and the “Itaparica” Island, located at “Todos os Santos Bay” and surrounded by coral reefs (to reach the island it is necessary to take a ferry, which trip takes approximately 45 minutes).

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