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Olinda

 

 

They say that the name “Olinda” originates from the words of a Portuguese Nobleman, Duarte Coelho, Pernambuco’s High Commissioner, when he searched for a place to establish a settlement.

Upon finding a hill with a magnificent sea view and a natural harbor protected by reefs, he said: “ Oh, beautiful place to build a village”. (“Oh, beautiful”, translated from the Portuguese: “Oh, linda”, thus the name “Olinda”. Truth or legend, what matters is that the city is really quite beautiful. From its foundation on, the village prospered in trade and became wealthy. However, the Dutch invaded it in 1630. After setting the city on fire, they abandoned it and moved to Recife, then just a seaport. Only after the invaders were driven out in 1654 did the village’s reconstruction begin. Much was preserved from that time: part of the original urban layout, old baroque churches and houses. Together, they comprise an important architectural collection, making Olinda part of Humanity’s Cultural Heritage. They also set the scenario of one of the most original carnivals of the country in street games, music and dance. It is quite rewarding to go out on the streets of the city and admire the landscape blending with the sea blue, vegetation green and the beauty of historical buildings. It is a pleasurable place also for lovers of good restaurants, authentic craftwork and art studios.
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