Salvador, the capital of Bahia State, was discovered by Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian navigator whose name was given to the continents of North and South America. The European set his eyes first on the beautiful bay of Baia de Todos os Santos (on which the city now stands) on November 1, 1501.
In 1549, the Portuguese king saw Salvador’s importance that he sent his royal governor, Tomé de Souza along with a small army, to protect the city from the Dutch and the French.
Salvador was not wealthy for its gold or silver; rather, the city was rich in something that’s almost as lucrative as the two: sugar. As sugar cane is abundant in the northeast, plantations grew in the city, which also resulted to the growth of slave trade. In the middle of the 19th century, almost 5 million slaves were taken to the country from Africa.
The wealth earned from Salvador’s sugar industry is manifested in the golden churches and grand mansions in Pelourinho, the heart of the city’s history. The legacy of the city’s slave trade can be reflected in Salvador’s population which is made up of 80% from Afro-Brazilian descents.
With a rich and interesting history, tourists, geared towards visiting Salvador will see more of the city’s magnificence and beauty.