Salvador forms the heart of the During his second voyage for Portugal, the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci sighted the bay on All Saints' Day (November 1) 1502 and, in honor of the date and his parish church in Florence, he named it the Bay of the Holy Savior of All the Saints.
and, in 1534, Francisco Pereira Coutinho, the first captain of Bahia, established the settlement of Pereira in modern Salvador's Ladeira da Barra neighborhood.
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The Pelourinho district of the upper town, still home to many examples of Portuguese colonial architecture and historical monuments, was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
The city's cathedral is the see of the primate of Brazil and its Carnival celebration has been reckoned as the largest party in the world.
The census revealed the following self-identification: 1,382,543 persons identify as Pardo (Multiracial) (51.7%); 743,718 as Black (27.8%); 505,645 as White (18.9%); 35,785 as Asian (1.3%); and 7,563 as Amerindian(0.3%).
Salvador's population is the result of 500 years of miscegenation.
John Maurice's two subsequent attempts to retake the town in April and May of 1638 were unsuccessful.
In the 1990s, a major municipal project cleaned and restored the neighborhood in order to develop it as the cultural center and heart of the city's tourist trade.
In 1572, the Governorate of Brazil was divided into the separate governorates of Bahia in the north and Rio de Janeiro in the south.
These were reunited as Brazil six years later, then redivided from 1607 to 1613.
By that time, Portugal had become united with Spain and was ruled from Madrid by its kings.
In 1621, King Philip III replaced the Governorate of Brazil with the states of Brazil, still based in Salvador and now controlling the south, and the Maranhão, which was centered on São Luís and controlled what is now northern Brazil.
Porto da Barra Beach in Barra has been named one of the best beaches in the world.