The Pelourinho Brazil
The Pelourinho is a historic neighborhood located in the western zone of Salvador, Bahia. It was the city's center during the Portuguese Colonial Period, and was named for the whipping post (Pelourinho means Pillory) in its central plaza where African slaves received punishment for various infractions, as well as for disciplinary purposes.
The Historic Centre of Salvador da Bahia, frequently called the Pelourinho, is extremely rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Salvador was the first colonial capital of Brazil and the city is one of the oldest in the New World (founded in 1549 by Portuguese settlers). It was also the first slave market on the continent, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations.
Nicknamed "PelÃ´" by residents, this area is in the older part of the upper city, or Cidade Alta, of Salvador. It ecompasses several blocks around the triangular Largo, and it is the location for music, dining and nightlife. In the 1990s, a major restoration effort resulted in making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction.
Pelourinho has a place on the national historic register and was named a world cultural center by UNESCO in 1985. Easily walkable, Pelo has something to see along every street, including churches, cafes, restaurants, shops and the pastel-hued buildings. Police patrol the area to ensure safety
Salvador's Historic Center comprises the colonial city's primitive nucleus and its geographical expansion until the end of the 18th century. From PraÃ§a Municipal, open within the dense tropical forest by the first general-governor, TomÃ© de Souza, in 1549, to largo de Santo AntÃ´nio AlÃ©m do Carmo, battle field where Portuguese and Dutch soldiers from Companhia das Ãndias Ocidentais fought in 1638, monuments of civil, religious and military architecture make up a scenery that reveals Salvador's inhabitants art and way of living through the centuries. From Portas de Santa Luzia, which kept the southern boundary of the old city safe, with mud walls, to the thick walls of Fort Santo AntÃ´nio AlÃ©m do Carmo, which guarded the north entrance, Salvador's Historic Center is divided in three areas that can be visited all at once: from PraÃ§a Municipal to largo de SÃ£o Francisco, Pelourinho, and from largo do Carmo to largo de Santo AntÃ´nio AlÃ©m do Carmo.
Many ruined buildings from the Historic Center started to be recuperated in the last thirty years; however, from 1991 on, this work had great impulse with the revitalization of whole blocks of old houses, convents, and churches. That is why nowadays there are more than 800 buildings with restored facades and interiors, among which are the ones adapted to new functions due to the aim of revitalizing the area for cultural purposes.
The area between PraÃ§a Municipal and largo de SÃ£o Francisco chronologically starts from the place chosen by general-governor TomÃ© de Souza for the construction of the Colonial Government buildings, and in the places occupied by religious brotherhoods that came from Europe in 1549. PraÃ§a Municipal was opened because it offered better protection against attacks by natives and corsairs. The Governor's House, the City Hall, and other constructions were initially made of mud wall and covered with straw, but later re-built with stone, bricks, and lime. Nowadays, the visitors' preferred historic buildings are PaÃ§o Municipal (completed in the end of the 17th century), PalÃ¡cio Rio Branco (built where the Governor's House was in 1919), and the Elevador Lacerda (Lacerda Elevator), amplified in the thirties. Towards the north are Santa Casa and Igreja de Nossa Senhora da MisericÃ³rdia (Our Lady of Mercy Church).
Igreja da SÃ©'s old foundations, put down in 1933, and PalÃ¡cio Arquiepiscopal, Brazil's Prime Archbishop's old house and place of work. It is important to point out that the old SÃ©, and other lour blocks from the colonial and imperial periods were put down in the beginning of the century for the construction of the city's cable car stations. A little bit forward, in Terreiro de Jesus, one will find 17th to 19th century constructions. Catedral Basilica, former Igreja dos JesuÃtas (Jesuits Church), and churches Ordem Terceira de SÃ£o Domingos and SÃ£o Pedro dos ClÃ©rigos stand out in Terreiro de Jesus, with its beautiful water fountain in the center.
In the old Medical School Building, originally occupied by the Jesuit School, are museums Memorial da Medicina (Medicine Memorial), Arqueologia e Etnologia (Archeology and Ethnology), and Afro-Brasileiro (Afro-Brazilian). Largo do Cruzeiro de SÃ£o Francisco (Cruzeiro de SÃ£o Francisco Largo), practically an extension of Terreiro de Jesus, has an old cross in the center, and, on the back, the monumental religious set made up of SÃ£o Franscisco Church and Convent, and Ordem Terceira de SÃ£o Franscisco Church.