Tag Archives: Salvador

Azulejos – the Portuguese tiles everywhere in Brazil

Azulejos, the very typical Portuguese white and blue tilework, can still be found in several Brazilian cities, generally remnant from the colonial years. They began to arrive in the country around 1630 and were used to adorn churches, monasteries, palaces and other mansions. Check this series of images of azulejos seen in the states of Bahia, Rio, São Paulo and Maranhão.

Find here a brief but good history of the presence of azulejos in  the country (in Portuguese).

Photo by Eneas de Troya/Flickr, from Convento de São Francisco (Saint Francis Cloisters) in Salvador, Bahia, the biggest collection of azulejos in the country.
Vestry of the church of the Cloisters of São Francisco, in Salvador. Photo from Wikipedia

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Capitães de Areia – the movie

Only two Brazilian writers made it internationally: Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of mystical parables, and Jorge Amado, the politically engaged storyteller that eviscerated the society of the state of  Bahia.

Amado, who would be a 100 next year, was active in the Communist Party and his social concerns show in his literature. “Capitães de Areia” (Captains of the Sand), one of his first books, published in 1937, tells the story of street kids from Salvador, Bahia’s capital. It was converted into a film to be released in Brazil next October by Cecília Amado, grand-daughter of Jorge. The score was produced by Carlinhos Brown.

This is the preview:

Baianas of Salvador risk expulsion

Photo by JorgeBrazil/Flickr

Baianas – those elderly ladies that sell acarajé and other typical dishes on the beach in Salvador – represent all the charm of the capital of Bahia. Every tourist and every politician that visits the town take a picture by their stands that smell of palm oil and Africa.

Now, this postcard is under menace. Last week, the city of Salvador was notified by the federal government that no commercial activities should be allowed on the beaches, to respect the legislation that rules the management of the Brazilian coast (Lei Nacional de Gerenciamento Costeiro). Mayor João Henrique Carneiro protested and is trying to find an alternative solution. Around 650 baianas work in the 51 km coast of Salvador, some of them for over 30 years .

It is, of course, a less than clever way of interpreting the environmental legislation.