World Heritage Site Olinda in Brazil

Proposals for Intervention


Verhoef, L.G.W.,
Meurs, P.

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Delft University Press


“Olinda was the first major Portuguese urban nucleus in the new lands of America. The cultural roots of the city blossomed through the religious processions, the liturgical manifestations, the Carnival parades, the folkloric expressions and the creations of its artists and popular handicraft makers, both native to the city and coming from outside – all of which contributed to further strengthening its tourist potential. Olinda’s historical centre has the largest concentration of the city’s urban cultural heritage. It consisted of buildings and green areas of an outstanding architectural, historical, archaeological, ethnographic, aesthetic and socio-cultural value. Its 16th century monuments, along with its architectural and urban setting, which bear witness to its 471 years of age, give Olinda the characteristics of a city which is alive and in a continuous evolutionary process. The historical site of Olinda covers the hills and the low areas adjacent to the sea, where the first settlements were established and where the monuments, the centuriesold houses and the narrow, steep and sinuous streets are to be found. Olinda is the most important tourist and cultural attraction of the Brazilian Northeast. In 1982, the Historical Site of Olinda was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which raised national and international interest in our city. This has contributed to improving its opportunities and economic development, but most of all, to publicizing the immensely rich, diversified and creative cultural production of its inhabitants, revealing Olinda’s hospitable and determined character, historically forged through the encounter and intermingling of peoples from the “four corners” of the world and in the libertarian struggles that occurred here.” Luciana Santos, Mayor of Olinda