Salvador architecture

Salvador da Bahia architecture

Tourists with strong interest in architecture will definitely be pleased with the offerings of Salvador. From its historical structures to forts and churches, the city’s architectural buildings tell much about the city.


Historical Structures


When it comes to architectural highlights, the monuments and the historic buildings of Salvador would come first on the list. And when it comes to monuments and historic buildings, the district of Pelourinho is the city’s heart. An old town showcasing a glimpse to the city’s history, Pelourinho was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1985.


At the edge of the Pelourinho district is the area called Praça Tomé de Souza which showcases the city hall on a glass-cube-on-stilts on one side and the Palácio Rio Branco on the other side which has a neoclassical design.


Another interesting architectural structure in Praça Tomé de Souza is the Art Deco Elevator Lacerda, which was built in 1872 to draw a line between people living in the upper and lower part of the city. Originally constructed with an 80-meter height, the elevator was restructured in 1930 with the addition of the art deco look. The elevator is open everyday from 5 in the morning to 12 midnight. Admission fee is R$10 – the cheapest in town.




When the city was taken back by the Portuguese from the Dutch in 1652, the first went on fort-building. Fortresses, both small and large, were built – some just strengthened – along the Bay of All Saints. Today, most of these forts are still present in the city, the most famous of which is the round Forte de São Marcelo. Erected in 1652, the popular fort was tagged by renowned writer, Jorge Amado as the “belly button of Bahia”.


The Forte de São Diogo is another interesting fort in the city for having witnessed much of the action during the second invasion of the Dutch in 1638.




The old churches in Salvador also add to its list of interesting architecture. Many of these churches are located in Pelourinho, the historical area of Salvador. The Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Praia is religious structure in the city worth mentioning for its breathtaking architecture inspired from the Baroque Period.


These are just a few of Salvador’s superb architecture. If you are an architecture enthusiast, you will surely appreciate each of this structure’s style and detail; if you are not, the mere beauty of these structures will give you so much appreciation.