03.13.2013 - 03.13.2013 90 °F
Here we are in the largest city on the Northeast coast of Brazil, with a population of almost 7 million. (I am continually amazed by my ignorance about the countries of South America!) This is the Bonfim Basilica, just one of the 165 churches in the city.
Miracles are reported to have occurred in Bonfim Church. Prayers for healing and thanks for healing are often accompanied by pictures of people and apparently, representative plastic body parts.
Salvador was once the center of Brazil’s slave trade (Brazil had more African slaves than the United States), and African faith beliefs have become syncretized with Roman Catholicism so there are local names for many more gods. The ribbons tied to this fence each have three knots that represent wishes – the belief is that you make a wish as you tie each knot and then leave it tied on your wrist until the bracelet falls off, that is , if you want it to work!
The Lower City and the harbor are viewed here from the Upper City.
The city became extremely wealthy because of the sugar and slave trades. It was settled by the Portuguese in 1549 and is now known for its Afro-Brazilian culture.
The church of St. Francis from 1597, where gold seems to cover every surface
Next to St. Francis, is this ornate façade. It was found when it was uncovered during restoration work. No one seems to know why it had been covered up.
The sound of loud drumming drew us down a lane to view an unplanned treat. The drummers show another aspect of the unique African heritage in this part of Brazil.
The heart of town, the Pelourinho, dates from the 17th through 19th centuries and is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
This is our last port before we reach the Amazon River, 1,800 miles away. We have four days and nights of sailing ahead of us. Yippee!