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The Municipality of Olinda
Montagem Olinda.jpg
Top:Church of Our Lady of Grace Seminary (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça Foi), 2nd left:Church of Our Lady of the Snows (Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Neves Seminário de Olinda) in Convent of San Francisco (Convento de São Francisco), 2nd right:Church and Monastery of St. Benedict, 3rd left:Panoramic view of the Alto da Sé, from the Panoramic lift of Olinda, 3rd right:Church of Carme, 4th left:Olinda Lighthouse, 4th right:Panoramic lift of Olinda, Bottom View of Atlantic Ocean and downtown area
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Location in Brazil
Coordinates: 8°0′32″S34°51′18″W / 8.00889°S 34.85500°W / -8.00889; -34.85500
Country Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Region Northeast
State Bandeira de Pernambuco.svg Pernambuco
FoundedMarch 12, 1535
Incorporated (as village)1537
Incorporated (as city)1676
  MayorLupércio Carlos do Nascimento
  Municipality 43.55 km2 (27.1 sq mi)
2,768 km2 (1,068.7 ;) sq mi)
16 m (52 ft)
  Density5.660/km2 (14.659/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
Website Olinda, Pernambuco

Olinda (Portuguese pronunciation:  [oˈlĩdɐ] ), is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, in Greater Recife (capital of Pernambuco State). [1] It has a population of 389,494 people, covers 41.681 square kilometres (16.093 sq mi), and has a population of 9 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is noted as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. [2]

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

States of Brazil administrative entity of Brazil

The Federative Republic of Brazil is a union of 27 federated units : 26 states and one federal district. The states are generally based on historical, conventional borders which have developed over time. The Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities, according to the Brazilian Constitution, the Federal District assumes the same constitutional and legal powers, attributions and obligations of the states and municipalities, instead, it is divided by administrative regions.

Pernambuco State of Brazil

Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. The state of Pernambuco also includes the archipelago Fernando de Noronha. With an estimated population of 9.2 million people in 2013, it is the seventh most populous state of Brazil, and is the sixth most densely populated and the 19th most extensive among the states and territories of the country. Its capital and largest city, Recife, is one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country. As of 2013 estimates, Recife's metropolitan area is the fifth most populous in the country, and the largest urban agglomeration in Northeast Brazil.


Olinda features a number of major tourist attractions, such as a historic downtown area (World Heritage Site), churches, and the Carnival of Olinda, a popular street party, very similar to traditional Portuguese carnivals, with the addition of African influenced dances. Unlike in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, in Olinda, admission to Carnival is free. All the festivities are celebrated on the streets, and there are no bleachers or roping. There are hundreds of small musical groups (sometimes featuring a single performer) in many genres.

World Heritage Site place listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or natural significance

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

Carnival festive season which occurs immediately before Lent

Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide. Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter, milk, and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", rather, their stock was fully consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes, donuts, and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, and individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire.

Rio de Janeiro Capital of state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.


Aerial view of the Historical city centre. Olinda e Recife.jpg
Aerial view of the Historical city centre.
Convent of Sao Francisco, the oldest Franciscan convent in Brazil. Convento de Sao Francisco - Olinda - Pernambuco - Brasil.jpg
Convent of São Francisco, the oldest Franciscan convent in Brazil.
Main altar of Saint Benedict Church. Olinda-SBento-MainChapel.jpg
Main altar of Saint Benedict Church.
Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Mosteiro de Sao Bento - Olinda - Pernambuco - Brasil.jpg
View of Olinda
Criteria Cultural: ii, iv
Reference 189
Inscription1982 (6th Session)
Area120 ha
Buffer zone920 ha

Several indigenous tribes occupied the coast of Northeastern Brazil for several thousand years, and the hills of the present day municipality of Olinda had settlements of Caetés and Tupinambá tribes, which were frequently at war. French mercenaries are thought to be the first Europeans to get to the region, but the Portuguese exploited intertribal rivalries and managed to build a stronghold on the former Caeté village in the higher hill. Recent studies by the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco [Federal University of Pernambuco] have uncovered new evidence of the pre-colonial population of the area. The settlement of Olinda was founded in 1535 by Duarte Coelho Pereira; it was elevated to a town on March 12, 1537. [1] It was made the seat of the Territorial Prelature of Pernambuco in 1614, becoming the Diocese of Olinda in 1676. The economy of the region was dominated by the production of sugarcane. The importation of slaves from Africa to support the economy made Olinda a colonial stronghold. By 1600 its economy was based on sugar, and imported African slave labor had made it a colonial stronghold. Slavery existed in Olinda until the Lei Áurea, or Golden Law, abolished slavery in Brazil in 1888.

The Caetés (Kaeté) were an indigenous people of Brazil, linguistically belonging to the Tupi people.

Tupinambá people

The Tupinambá were one of the various Tupi ethnic groups that inhabited present-day Brazil before the conquest of the region by Portuguese colonial settlers. The Tupinambás lived in São Luis, Maranhão. Their language survives today in the form of Nheengatu.

Sugarcane Group of cultivated plants

Sugarcane, or sugar cane, or simply cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea, and used for sugar production. It has stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. The plant is two to six metres tall. All sugar cane species can interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum, and many forage crops.

Olinda was the capital of the hereditary captaincy of Pernambuco, but was burned by Dutch invaders. The Portuguese built their town on the hill, for practical purposes (sewers) and to make it easier to defend. In the 17th century the Kingdom of Portugal was united with Spain (the 1580-1640 Iberian Union period). Taking advantage of this period of Portuguese weakness, the area around Olinda and Recife was occupied by the Dutch who gained access to the Portuguese sugarcane plantations. [2] John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen was appointed as the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1637 by the Dutch West India Company on recommendation of Frederick Henry. He landed at Recife, the port of Pernambuco and the chief stronghold of the Dutch, in January 1637. By a series of successful expeditions, he gradually extended the Dutch possessions from Sergipe on the south to São Luís de Maranhão in the north. He likewise conquered the Portuguese possessions of Saint George del Mina, Saint Thomas, and Luanda, Angola, on the west coast of Africa. After the dissolution of the Iberian Union in 1640, Portugal would reestablish its authority over the lost territories of the Portuguese Empire.

A Captaincy is a historical administrative division of the former Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. It was instituted as a method of organization, directly associated with the home-rule administrations of medieval feudal governments in which the monarch delimited territories for colonization that were administered by men of confidence.

Dutch people or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place.

Kingdom of Portugal kingdom in Southwestern Europe between 1139 and 1910

The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910. After 1415, it was also known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. The name is also often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realm's extensive overseas colonies.

Olinda declined in importance after the Dutch invasion. Recife became the capital of Pernambuco in 1827. The city now serves as a suburb to the greater Recife metropolitan area. Due to the historic position of the city, its Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, São Salvador do Mundo, remains the primary seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife, [1] with a co-cathedral in Recife, while Olinda also has a Minor Basilica, again World Heritage Site (Minor): Basílica Abacial do Mosteiro de São Bento de Olinda. [3]

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife is a Latin Metropolitan archdiocese in southeast Brazil's Pernambuco state.

A co-cathedral is a cathedral church which shares the function of being a bishop's seat, or cathedra, with another cathedral, often in another city. Instances of this occurred in England before the Protestant Reformation in the dioceses of 'Bath and Wells,' and of 'Coventry and Lichfield.' These two dioceses were each named for both cities that served as bishop's seats.

Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is also one of Brazil's main cultural centers. Declared in 1982 a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Rio-style Carnival, on the rhythms of frevo , maracatu and others rhythms.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.


Frevo is a dance and musical style originating from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, traditionally associated with Brazilian Carnival. The word frevo is said to come from frever, a variant of the Portuguese word ferver. It is said that the sound of the frevo will make listeners and dancers feel as if they are boiling on the ground. The word frevo is used for both the frevo music and the frevo dance.


The term maracatu denotes any of several performance genres found in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. Main types of maracatu include Maracatu Nação and Maracatu Rural.


Giant Dolls - Olinda Carnival. Encontro de Bonecos Gigantes de Silvio Botelho.jpg
Giant Dolls - Olinda Carnival.
Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Saint Roch Chapel and San Francisco Convent. Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Saint Roch Chapel and San Francisco Convent - Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil.jpg
Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Saint Roch Chapel and San Francisco Convent.

The main economic activities in Olinda are based in tourism, commerce, transportation industry and artcraft. The tourist sector has a boom every Carnival when thousands of people are in the old historic town center.

Economic indicators

Population GDP x(1000 R$). [4] GDP pc (R$) PE RMR

Economy by Sector

Primary sector Secondary sector Service sector

Historic Centre

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 "Olinda". Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago, Ill.: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  2. 1 2 "Pernambuco, Olinda" (in Portuguese). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  3. http://www.gcatholic.org/dioceses/diocese/olin0.htm
  4. Olinda 2007 GDP IBGE page 31 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine

Wikivoyage-Logo-v3-icon.svg Olinda travel guide from Wikivoyage

Coordinates: 8°00′S34°53′W / 8.000°S 34.883°W / -8.000; -34.883