69 imagesA Tropical Baroque with African flavour. The Brazilian state of Bahia, is famous for the colonial architecture of his capital Salvador and its paradisiacal marine sites. Salvador, the first colonial capital of Brazil, is one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The historical centre of Salvador, the Pelourinho, is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. In the 1990s, a major city project restored the Pelourinho that now is a cultural center. In the 20th century the writer Jorge Amado (1912-2001) helped popularize a culture inherited by the Afro-Brazilian culture with a religious syncretism remaining as one of its most intriguing features. Most enslaved Africans in Bahia were forced to convert to Catholicism, but their original religion has survived in spite of persecutions by attributing the names and characteristics of their Candomblé deities to Catholic saints. Candomblé is based on the cult of the Orishas (Orixás), religious entities syncretised with Catholic entities. Capoeira is a unique mix of dance and martial art of Afro-Brazilian origin.
95 imagesBRAZIL, Barroco Mineiro, the colonial architecture of Minas Gerais. In Minas Gerais the colonists searching gold (discovered 1693), gems, and later diamonds founded several towns. The gold cycle left its mark in cities such as Mariana, Ouro Preto, Diamantina, Sabará, Tiradentes and São João del Rei. The r isolation from Europe helped the local people to develop their own style of art, which became known as Barroco Mineiro with richly decorated churches but the most important artist of this time was Antônio Lisboa, known as Aleijadinho. His statues are one of the most refined artistic expressions outside Europe at that time, a rich colonial heritage and colonial art.