Lower Salvador


Lower Salvador

Given the length of my notes, I decided to divide them into two blocks, coinciding with the division made locally between the upper city and the lower city. Salvador will only be known by seeing them both.

Ladeira de Montanha

Lower Salvador
Lower Salvador – Ladeira de Montanha

This old and neglected street has a very rich history: as the point of passage between both plans of the city, all the business of passers-by was concentrated here, with rich (now dangerous) night life, whose signs are still visible in its dark recesses

Comercio quarter

Lower Salvador – Comercio quarter

In the low city, surrounding the port the lively neighborhood received a clearly adequate name – Commerce.

Our guide pointed to:

  • São Marcelo fortress
  • Bahia Nautical Center
  • Customs
  • Gold Market
  • Church of Our Lady of the Conception of Praia

Closer, we saw Visconde de Cairu Square, the Modelo market and the Lacerda lift

​Modelo market

Lower Salvador – Modelo market

Inaugurated in 1912, “Mercado Modelo” operated as the main supply center of the city of Salvador, especially with products from the Recôncavo Baiano.

Initially its location was in another building but after a fire, in 1969, it moved to the Casa da Alfândega building, which was classified as a national patrimony, where it has evolved by taking advantage of tourism

Monument to the city

Lower Salvador – Monument to the city

The Visconde de Cayru square is dominated by a dense monument of the artist Mário Cravo, that honestly, does not impress by its beauty. However, knowing that it is built in fiberglass. his gigantism becomes overwhelming

​S. Marcelo fort

Lower Salvador – S. Marcelo fort

Constructed in wood on a sand bank, in the early 17th century by the Portuguese, and hardly disputed with the Dutch throughout that century, after destruction and reconstruction this fort is now a cultural space open to visit, made by boat and limited by safety reasons

Nossa Senhora dos Mares

Lower Salvador – N. S. dos Mares

We passed quickly by this square, where an exotic green on the facade drew our attention to a church of tall towers.

I read later that it was built in the first half of the last century, without major historical or artistic relief

Estação da Calçada

Lower Salvador – Estação da Calçada

Also fast was the passage through this square where a statue of Lauro de Freitas seemed to guard a banana bench.

​Here I would have liked to have stopped for a few seconds, for the station at Calçada, in the background, seemed to merit a long look.

Boa Viagem

Lower Salvador – Boa Viagem beach


The many beaches of the city seem to me to be of little function, given the profusion of rocks and reefs.

The exception was Boa Viagem beach, which perhaps due to its somewhat peripheral location and inside the bay, is mostly frequented by locals.

Lower Salvador – Boa Viagem church


The church and an asylum were built in the 18th century by the Franciscans. Its richest detail, a set of tile panels, was partially destroyed in a reconstruction in the last century.

“Ponta de Humaità”

Lower Salvador – Ponta Humaitá

Dominated by the fort of Mont Serrat, this small peninsula houses a lighthouse and a church that was in recovery when we visited it.

​This is a very harmonious set with great views.​

Mont Serrat fort

Lower Salvador – Mont Serrat

Built in the 17th century, the Mont Serrat fort has always been the focus of many disputes for more than 200 years.

​Classified as national heritage, it houses the museum of armament. The view of the city from its ramparts is breathtaking.



Lower Salvador – Bonfim church

The church of Senhor Bom Jesus do Bonfim, in Salvador, was built between 1746 and 1754, to house the image of Senhor Bom Jesus do Bonfim, brought from Lisbon in 1745, and to whom is attributed the rescue of some shipwrecked.

With typically Portuguese architecture in neo-classical style, it has a simple but elegant decoration, with beautiful frescoes and tiles.

It is a meeting point of the Christianity with the traditional African religions and fortune-teller superstition.

There’s a feast of washing the staircases.
We did not watch it, but, with the dust of the works in progress, the “Baianas” had a hard work when we left.


Lower Salvador – Bonfim traditions

First we were approached by some street vendors, offering the miraculous ribbons at 5 reais each. It was not necessary to recall the guide’s warnings, to realize the speculative price that was demanded, waiting for any offer.

​By chance, I went away a little to take a picture, and I saw in a store ribbons for sale for 1 real each pack of 10.

I bought 2, and went back to the church “swimming in ribbons”, which guaranteed me total peace. The visit and photos of the church were hampered by the intense exterior work. Despite its very harmonious appearance and interesting tile panels, the church is far from being a dazzle.
What is truly remarkable is the local tradition.
I did not avoid the “blessing” of the Father of Saint, with powders, flowers and smokes wrapped in incomprehensible spiel. All this in a serene atmosphere of smiling tranquility, ending by the inevitable donation to … Oh God! I have to go back! I forgot what saint or orixá was present.


Lower Salvador – Barra


Built in 1698 on the southwest tip of the city, and included in the fortress of Santo António da Barra, the lighthouse of Barra is considered the oldest in America.

​The whole is now visitable, including, in the military facilities, a nautical museum.



On a beach of reasonable size, perhaps the best in this part of the city, reefs and rocks are visible in profusion that can either provide protected areas, or make other impracticable. It was not only for the information of being polluted that we did not attend it, just because, with Morro de São Paulo and Praia do Forte on the agenda, there was little temptation.

Morro do Cristo


A pleasant and short walk along the seafront, took us to stop on this hill, which in the distance promised good views. It has!
It is a space arranged with simplicity and good taste, where, at the foot of the statue of Christ the Redeemer, carved in Carrara marble by Pasquale de Chirico, the view extends over the surrounding beaches, with Itaparica in background.

Ondina beach


Beautiful to the eyes, and in a upscale neighborhood, it is one more beach where tide and rocks have to be managed with care.

​Generalized works in confirm the great care with the infrastructures of the beach.

Tororó Dam



Tororó dam was built in the 17th century in a natural valley, to protect city, against invasions.

From the 19th century, it began to be grounded for the expansion of the city, considerably reducing its size.

​Nowadays, it is a recreational and sports area.


In 1998, the work of the sculptor Tati Moreno, a set of statues were installed in the Lake of the Tororó, representative of the diverse Orixás. In homage to Candomblé, it seems that they are all there:
Oxalá – God of creation and father of all orixás.
Iansã – Lady of lightning, winds and storms.
Iemanjá – The queen of the sea,mother of the orixás.
Ogum Edé – God of war and iron users.
Nanã – Goddess of rain and mud (grandmother).
Xango – Lord of lightning and thunder.
Oxum – Orixá of fresh waters, lakes and fountains


Stadium “Arena Fonte Nova”

In Brazil as in Portugal (not only) the big events are pretext for pharaonic works that exhaust the public purse, and become white elephants past the euphoria.

This seems to be the case with this modern stadium, built for the world championship, and now under-exploited and subject to sale. It will be curse of Portugal, that lost 4-0 with Germany there?

“Todos os Santos” bay


“Todos-os-Santos” bay is the second largest bay in the world, after the Bay of Bengal and the largest in Brazil. Penetrating 80 km inland on the continent, the Bay has a perimeter of 300 km, and houses fifty-six islands.

We visited superficially the largest and most important, Itaparica, and considered a trip to the island of the Monjes as an alternative to the Morro de São Paulo, but … it was not the same!