Historic Centre Brazil, Salvador

Historic Centre

The Historic Center (US) or Centre of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, also known as the Pelourinho (Portuguese for "Pillory") or Pelo, is a historic neighborhood in western Salvador, Bahia. It was the city's center during the Portuguese colonial period and was named for the whipping post in its central plaza where African slaves received punishment for various infractions, as well as for disciplinary purposes. The Historic Center 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. This area is in the older part of the upper city of Salvador. It encompasses several blocks around the triangular Largo, and it is the location for music, dining and nightlife. In the 1990s, a $100 million restoration effort led by a conservative political coalition tied to then-governor Antonio Carlos Magalhães resulted in the removal of over 4000 mainly Afro-Bahian residents and the conversion of a once-vital neighborhood into a pastel-hued tourist attraction. It has a place on the national historic register and was named a world cultural center by UNESCO in 1985.

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