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Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 16th-18th c.
Date of Inscription: 1982
Location: South America, Brazil, State of Pernambuco, North-East Region of Brazil
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Description: Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda was founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, and in its history is closely linkedto the sugar-cane industry. It was rebuilt after being looted by the Dutch, but still retains its basic urban fabric dating back to the 18th century. Olinda holds a particular charm, which is achieved by the harmonious balance between its buildings, gardens, convents, numerous small passos (chapels) and its twenty Baroque churches. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, just north of Recife and south of Paulista. It has a population of 376,800 people (2005) and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. The city's name can be interpreted as an exclamation regarding the beauty of its setting ("Ó, linda!" is Portuguese for "Oh, beautiful!"), but a much more likely source is a literary character in the chivalry romance Amadis de Gaula. 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 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. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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