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HISTORY

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful, rich and happy land. It was inhabited by more than 3 millions of free people, healthy and happy, the Indians. They lived naked and ate and drank what nature offered them: enormous quantities of fruits and plants, which could be found easily in nature, and uncountable animals, that lived on this land and see and that they could away from it by hunting and fishing.

The Indians built their dwellings with trunks, branches and straw that were provided to them by the enormous quantities of trees and plant in the region. These raw materials were also used to make objects such as baskets, shelf’s and nets, amongst others. They also had a rich and varied craft industry and knew very well how to work with wood, ceramics and stone.

These pre-Brazilian Indians were peaceful and lived in matriarchal communities. Each tribe had its "pajé", the spiritual leader and curer of the tribe. They believed in several gods, each of which represented an element from nature, such as the sun, the moon, water and rivers, and so on. They loved feasts, commemorations and rituals and for those they always painted their bodies and were garnished with feathers, stones, seeds and shells.

In the year of 1500 d. C. a group of Portuguese navigators, under the leadership of Pedro Álvares Cabral, arrived on this splendid land and thought that they were arriving in India. This is how, for the rest of the world, the history of Brazil starts as a colony of the Portuguese crown. At the place where the discovery happened is now situated the city of Porto Seguro, in the south of the state of Bahia. Shortly after that, in 1501, an expedition of recognition of the new land, discovered a large and splendid bay to which was given the name of Bay of All Saints as it happened on the 1st of November. The large bay became a reference for the navigators and became one of the most visited ports of the whole American continent.

The city Salvador was founded in 1549 as first capital of Brazil and its name is an homage to Jesus Christ. For more than two centuries it was the principal Atlantic port on the route of the spices with the Orient as final destination. In the beginning the export of “pau-brasil” (the red wood that gave its name to the new country) was the most important activity and then the traffic of sugar, tobacco, cotton, gold, diamonds and slaves.

In 1583, the city of Salvador had two squares, three streets and more or less 1600 inhabitants. The richness of the Brazilian capital attracted the attention of several European countries, such as the Dutch, who conquer her through several expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1763 Salvador lost its title of capital of the colony when it was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, the main port for the export of the gold. As capital of the Province and later of the State of Bahia, the city kept its political ans economic importance, but nevertheless, passed trough several economic crises in the 18th and 19th centuries.

On the political scene, the libertarian consciousness of the people of Salvador led to several movements of protestation and revolution against the domination of the Portuguese. One of the most important ones, was the Revolution of the Tailors in 1798, when a group of revolutionaries tried to found the Republic of Bahia.

The process of modernization of the city and the region around, started in the 50 of last century with the construction of the Hidro-electric Power Plant of Paulo Afonso and the inauguration of the highway Rio – Bahia. In the 70, the Brazilian governement installs the Industrial Centre of Aratú and the Petro-chemical Pool of Camaçari, both in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador. Today, Bahia has the highest participation in the Brazilian BNP amongst the states of the North-east.