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Mercado Modelo - Click to enlargeThe region where the Mercado Modelo is located is a true journey into the cultural history of Bahia and Brazil. Known as the Cidade Baixa (the Lower City), that appeared after successive expansions of the original beach area, it established the Port of the ancient part of the city of Salvador.

The main part of the city is called Conceição da Praia – the base of which was constructed in 1549 by order of Tomé de Souza, the Capitan at that time and the first General Governor of Brazil.

With a diversity of attractions, the region makes your visit to Mercado Modelo even more interesting and profitable. Don’t miss out.

Elevador Lacerda (Lacerda Elevator) – The main postcard attraction of Salvador, the Lacerda Elevator was inaugurated in 1873. Conceived and constructed by the engineer Antônio de Lacerda, its architecture suprises: there are 74 meters between the base and the tower of the elevator.

Nowadays, it has four elevators that link the path between the Higher City (Cidade Alta) and the Lower City in only 11 seconds and transports more than 20,000 passengers a day.

Fonte da Rampa do Mercado - Monumento Mário Cravo (Fountain and Ramp of the Mercado – the Mário Cravo Monument) - Baptized as the Fountain da Rampa do Mercado, in honor of the old Mercado Modelo that was in the same location and destroyed by fire in 1969. It was at the old fountain that the sellers refreshed themselves on hot days.

The sculpture is a work by the sculptor Mário Cravo Jr. and was implemented during the administration of the Mayor, current Senator, Antônio Carlos Magalhães, who dedicated himself to change the urban structure of Salvador. Made of fiberglass, the sculptured fountain consists of an attempt to bring together the ancient city and the dynamism of the new times.

Igreja Nossa Senhora de Conceição da Praia (The Church of Our Lady of Conceição da Praia) – Patron of the city of Salvador and of the Mercado Modelo, and devotion saint of the founder of the city, Tomé de Souza, the construction of the third church located in the same place was iniciated in 1736.

The ceiling of the church is a masterpiece by José Joaquim da Rocha, and depicts an illusionist painting made between 1772 and 1773.

Forte São Marcelo (The Saint Marcelo Fort) - Built on a sand bank at the entrance to Baía de Todos os Santos, its function was to impede pirate attack on the vessels which were moored at the fort, and to avoid those armed invading pirate ships coming within firing range of the Fort.

Baptized inicially as Santa Maria del Popolo Fort, this military construction is also known as the Forte do Mar (Fort of the Sea).

Its construction was initiated in 1650 by the engineer Felipe Guiton and consists of a project of approximately circular plan, with a large central tower, where the defense canons were positioned.

In 1812, a high thick wall was constructed in the form of a ring, with interior rooms, for the shots fired by the invaders to rikochet off the tower and be directed back to the shooters.

The author Jorge Amado described it as “O Umbigo da Bahia” (the Navel of Bahia) due to the singularity of its form and prominance in the landscape in the middle of Baia de Todos os Santos (Bay of All the Saints).

Rampa do Mercado Modelo (Ramp of the Mercado Modelo) - Located where the old boats that crossed the Bay of All the Saints, unloaded the merchandise that filled the old Mercado Modelo.

Prédio da Associação Comercial (Building of the Commercial Association) - A building in the English neo-classic style, constructed in 1817, reflects the importance of business and commerce in Salvador after the Independence of Brazil.

The building was built over the foundations of the old Fort of São Fernando and has a square at its front in which is located a monument to the soldiers from the Battle of Riachuelo, that occurred in the second half of the 19th Century, in Paruguay.

Solar do Unhão (Manor-house of Unhão) - Constructed in the 17th Century, it served as the residence of the Chief Judge Pedro de Unhão Castelo Branco and is the only architectural formation with rural elements in the urban space of the city. Reminiscent of the homes of the lands of sugar cane plantations and ancient portuguese farms, the upper part housed the family members and the lower part, the location of the slaves.

The interior of the residence was completely renovated in the 20th Century, and became the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, the Sculptures Park and a typical restaurant.

Museu de Arte Moderna - (Modern Art Museum of Bahia) – with its diversified archive of renowned Bahian authors, Brazilians and foreigners, exhibited in its rooms, the Museum presents paintings, drawings and sculptures, that represent the plastic arts of the 20th Century. In combination with the natural landscape of Baia de Todos os Santos, the MAM is a dynamic cultural space frequently visited in Salvador.

Parque das Esculturas (Sculptures Park) - A space for the exhibition of masterpieces in the national plastic arts surrounding the Solar do Unhão. In the gardens and at the beach are exhibited sculptures or known personalities in art.

>>> Click and see a gallery of photos of the region.

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