Salvador (Saviour, often colloquially Salvador da Bahia, Brazilian Portuguese: [sawvaˈdoʁ (da baˈi.a)]; historic name: São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos, in English: "City of the Holy Saviour of the Bay of all Saints") is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.
Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The city has the largest carnival of the World. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the Americas.
For a long time, it was simply known as Bahia, and appears under that name (or as Salvador da Bahia, Salvador of Bahia so as to differentiate it from other Brazilian cities of the same name) on many maps and books from before the mid-20th century. Salvador is the third most populous Brazilian city, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The metropolitan area of the city, with 3.5 million of people, however, is the seventh most populous Brazilian urban agglomeration, and the third in Northeastern Brazil.
The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in Brazil's Northeast. The African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the centre of Afro-Brazilian culture. This reflects a situation in which African-associated cultural practices are celebrated.
The Historic Centre of Salvador, frequently called the "Pelourinho", is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture with historical monuments dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Salvador is located on a small, roughly triangular peninsula that separates All Saints Bay from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, which gets its name from having been discovered on All Saints' Day forms a natural harbor. Salvador is a major export port, lying at the heart of the Recôncavo Baiano, a rich agricultural and industrial region encompassing the northern portion of coastal Bahia.
A particularly notable feature is the escarpment that divides Salvador into the Cidade Alta ("Upper Town" - rest of the city) and the Cidade Baixa ("Lower Town" - port area and apart neighborhoods along the bay), the former some 85 m (279 ft) above the latter, with the city's cathedral and most administrative buildings standing on the higher ground. An elevator (the first installed in Brazil), known as Elevador Lacerda, has connected the two sections since 1873, having since undergone several upgrades.
Salvador is home of the 3rd best beach of the World, Porto da Barra Beach, in Barra neighborhood, elected in 2007 by the British Newspaper The Guardian, and also is home of the Arena Fonte Nova, the city's stadium in the World Cup. The city hosted in 2010, an important international event, the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
The city will be one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Salvador hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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