Founded in 1537 by Duarte Coelho Pereira, Olinda became the cradle of Brazilian culture in the 16th century and the first capital of the province of Pernambuco. Later the town became one of the most important cultural centres of Brazil, the home of artists, sculpturers, and writers and the founding place of Brazil's first law school. Led by Moritz von Nassau the town was conquered by the Dutch in 1630. Moritz von Nassau intensively promoted the fine arts of the region. The strong Dutch influence of those days can still be traced today.
Due to its exciting past, its both, beautiful and important architectural and cultural heritage as well as its outstanding natural beauty and its unique topography the town became a National Monument of Brazil in 1980 and two years later was declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Olinda's charming atmosphere is the result of natural, architectural, historical and artistic affluence being fused - a luxuriant vegetation mingling with a great number of age-old temples, baroque churches, steep roads, old houses, sights and beaches Olinda's inhabitants are a merry, creative, hospitable and communicative people. The elevated old town is a centre of popular and classic artists and craftsmen focussing on music, folklore, dance and crafts. Its gastronomy is unique with its typical and tasty dishes. There is a wide range of restaurants offering the local fare, fruits de mer and tropical fruits in particular.
OLINDA is, quite simply, one of the largest and most beautiful complexes of colonial architecture in Brazil: a maze of cobbled streets, hills crowned with brilliant white churches, pastel-coloured houses, Baroque fountains and graceful squares. Not surprisingly, in 1982 it was designated a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. Founded in 1535, the old city is spread across several small hills looking back towards Recife, but it belongs to a different world. In many ways Olinda is the Greenwich Village of Recife; it's here that many of the larger city's artists, musicians and liberal professionals live, and it's also the centre of Recife's gay scene. Olinda is most renowned, though, for its Carnaval, famous throughout Brazil, which attracts visitors from all over the country, as well as sizeable contingents from Europe. A city in its own right, Olinda is far larger than it first appears. The old colonial centre is built on the hills, slightly back from the sea, but arching along the seafront and spreading inland behind the old town is a modern Brazilian city of over 300,000 people - known as Novo Olinda, the usual bland collection of suburbs and main commercial drags. Like Recife, Novo Olinda has a growing reputation for robberies, but the heart of colonial Olinda is safe enough. There's a calm, almost sleepy atmosphere about the place, and wandering around at night is pretty safe. Despite its size, Olinda has become effectively a neighbourhood of Recife: a high proportion of the population commutes into the city, which means that transport links are good, with buses leaving every few minutes.
Members in Sub-Groups: 1
Created: Feb 18, 2008
To post in this group you must become a member. Just click the 'Join Group' button.