Nivi's Adventures

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Pelourinho, Salvador

In 1532 sugarcane came to Brasil and it's now, by far the biggest producer of sugarcane in the world. However, seeing as though the sugarcane grew so well here, the Portuguese soon needed a needed a workforce to farm it all. They decided not to use the Indians/indigenous peoples (they were quite susceptible to european diseases) and instead turned to Africa's already existing slave trade. Slaves were being torn from their homes in Angola, Mozambique, Sudan, Congo, Guiné and shipped to slave trading centres all over the world, and soon Pelourinho in Salvador became one of the largest centres.

Pelourinho actually means pillory and it was where slaves were publicly tortured before being auctioned and sold (or killed). The thriving slave trading centre was probably also part of the reason why Salvador was the first capital of Brasil and was the 2nd most important city in the Portuguese empire after Lisbon.

But before you panic, dont worry, this isn't gonna be another history lesson - Pelourinho is one of the most touristy areas of Salvador, I checked it out a while back so here are the promised photos...

Standing on Praça Municipal, looking west out onto Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay). You can see all the tents of the markets in the centre foreground of the picture, as well as the yellow façade of the Mecardo Modelo.

A funky sculpture in the praça.

Palacío Rio Branco - the first political seat of colonial Brasil for more than 200 yrs.

Views of the buildings around Praça Municipal, the official name of which is Praça Tomé do Souza, named after the first Governor of Brasil.

Looking out onto the Baiá de Todos os Santos with the Elevador Lacerda in the right of the picture.

Looking back onto the Elevador Lacerda. This shuttles passengers a vertical distance of 72m to get from the Cidade Baixa (lower city) to Cidade Alta (upper city) or vice versa. This was built in 1610 as a rope and pulley jobby and was replaced by an electric system in 1928.

Quintessential Pelourinho! I tell you this is a postcard photo! It's gonna be really interesting when I eventually get to Portugal but this looks exactly like the buildings I saw in Macau back in 2002 (Macau is another former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong)

Igreja de São Francisco. This building, started in 1708 and completed 15yrs later, seems to have been some sort of show of wealth by the Portuguese. Apparently there is an 80kg silver chandelier and over 100kg of gold, used to gold plate anything and everything that could be gold plated. Unfortunately the church wasn't open when I visited it, but I'll try and get photos if I do make it inside!


  • You definitely have a good eye for some nice shots Niv!

    By Blogger Bex, at 6:11 AM  

  • I second that, postcard quality shots is right! Good to hear you´re getting to do a bit of touristing and its not all work :D

    By Blogger Pyotr, at 5:55 AM  

  • Thanks darlings! Although it's pretty easy to take good photos when the scenery is this amazing :)

    By Blogger Nivi, at 7:27 AM  

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