Ricardo Kalaidjian
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Blog

No. 45 SALVADOR

Hi all,

so, its been a while, sorry about that, I’ve been visiting family, and in the middle of a move right now. I probably wont be back to my weekly schedule for a while, but I’ll post as often as I can

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Back to the good stuff. Over the holidays I spent some days in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, Brasil.

The city was the original capital of the country way back in 1549, and much of its architecture is from the colonial times.

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The central square of the city is called the Pelourinho (Portuguese for Pillory), which at the time was a place where run away slaves were punished in public. Salvador was the first slave port of the new world, and to this day it has a very large African influence in its culture, food and music.

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The church that can be seen in the background (Sao Francisco) is one of the most ornately decorated in the world, with an incredible amount of gold inlay. I wasn’t able to take pictures inside, but check it out via the google link above, its really incredible.

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Salvador is known to have 365 churches within its borders, one for each day of the year. Many of the African slaves that were brought over ended up converting to Catholicism, but many people to this day follow an African belief system called Candomble with its many gods and spirits.

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Perhaps the most famous church in Brasil is Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Our Lord of the Good End) where tourists and locals alike buy these ribbons and tie them to their wrists or to the fences around the church. People will make wishes while they tie the three knots, and it is said that when the ribbon breaks after wearing it for some time, the wishes will come true.

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Salvador is so interesting exactly because it at once is fervently Catholic but at the same time it has taken so much influence from African cultures. Many people follow both religions concurrently. And ALL Brazilians, even those who are not particularly religious still follow traditions such as wearing white outfits during the new year as an homage to Yemanja, the Candomble Goddess of the Sea, in order to ask for peace in the coming year.

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One final thing that I found interesting is the Elevador Lacerda, a huge hydraulic elevator built in 1869 that connects the high and low parts of the city. Many people use it daily as means of transportation, but it is also a famous tourist attraction.

The view from above is not to bad either..

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In case you were wondering, all shots from this week were taken on the Fujifilm Klasse W with a roll of Ektachrome E100

I have a lot of trips planned for the beginning of the year, so I wont be posting as often as I’d like but that also means I’ll have more exciting places to talk about! Bear with me while I figure some things out, and thank you for everyone who has been following me!

Talk to you soon,

Ricardo