Historic Downtown, Olinda, Brazil
The original capital of Pernambuco, Olinda was founded in 1535 and stands as one of Brazil's most beautiful and historic towns. This charming city sits surrounded by a tree-covered hill, and offers visitors colonial architecture and a fun and chic art scene.
Inside the city of Olinda visitors can experience beautiful art galleries, interesting museums, stunning colonial churches, artisan workshops, markets and live music in the streets. The city has maze like twisting streets that are filled with lovely and colorful colonial homes, surrounded by lush trees, old enchanting church towers and red-tile roofs, all which make you feel as if you were still living in the 1700s. Some of the must see places in the area include:
1. Igreja da Sé: This beautiful cathedral offers stunning views of Olinda, as well as the neighboring city Recife. The church was originally built in 1537, though burnt down in 1631 and has since been rebuilt four times. The final reconstructed was an attempt to recreate its original 16th
century appearance. Make sure to pay attention to the inscriptions in basic Portuguese on the wooden door just to the left of the entrance.
2.Mosteiro de São Bento: This unique monastery was built in 1582 and features some incredible woodcarvings, inside of its main church. The monastery also holds a special place in Brazil's heart because it housed the countries first law school for 24 years. Today, the monastery has Mass every Sunday, complete with Gregorian chants. Randomly, visitors can also purchase delicious homemade liqueurs here during their visit.
3. Museu de Arte Sacra de Pernambuco: This beautiful museum was built in 1696 and at one point served as Olinda's Episcopal Palace and Camara, or government council building. Today, the museum features exhibits that include a fascinating collection of sacred art, as well as a photographic memorial to the city of Olinda.
4. Museu de Arte Contemporânea: This contemporary art museum is not only known for having wonderful traveling exhibits, but is renowned for its permanent pieces. The museum itself is an old house from the 18th
-century that was previously used as a jail during the catholic inquisition.
5. Museu do Mamulengo: Perhaps one of the world's most innocently entertaining museums, Museo do Mamulengo is in fact a puppet museum that has a collection of over 1000 pieces. All of the pieces are devoted to the traveling puppet show called Mamulengos,, which is a popular form of entertainment in Northeastern Brazil.
During your stay in Olinda make sure to check out this great accommodation: Hostels in olinda