Olinda, Brazil

Olinda is considered to be one of Brazil’s best-preserved cities that have been colonized. Part of the Pernambuco state, the historic city lies just above Recife and below Paulista.


Because of the city’s natural beauty, rich heritage, and culture, Olinda has received a number of recognitions from known institutions.

Cultural Heritage
The recognition as Cultural Heritage site was awarded by UNESCO to Olinda in 1982 after the city’s struggle to be on the list in 1978. The support of people like ambassador Olinda Holanda Cavalcanti, then Minister Eduardo Portela, and Aloisio Magalhães helped much in giving the city the title.

National Monument
According to Federal Law No. 6863 approved on November 26, 1980, the city was given the title as support to the grant provided by UNESCO; it (the city) being Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The law was approved by then-president Joao Figueiredo.

Ecological City
The city’s then mayor, Olinda Germano Coelho, was the one to confer the title to Olinda. This is in view of the city’s vast green areas; one of which is the Garden d ‘El Rey, one of the country’s first botanical gardens.

1st Brazilian Capital of Culture
In 2006, the city of Olinda was voted as the first Capital of Culture in Brazil in a specialists ‘election’ organized by the Brazilian Tourism Authority. The ‘election’ had been supported by some big institutions such as the Latin America Culture Center and UNESCO.

With its almost 500 years of history, Olinda is among those cities that have stood out in terms of the richness of its culture. It was also one of the country’s richest cities during its first 100 years. Because it was occupied by the Dutch for 24 years, the city’s already-diverse and rich culture were made more diverse and richer.

The city, realizing that culture is its biggest asset has made sure that it is manifested everywhere in its territories. Every house, church, and street in the city all express Olinda’s culture and history.