in brazil's north-east, the province pernambuco, is the historic city olinda located, which has close to 400000 residents.
the village was founded in 1535 by a portuguese settler, duarte pereira. it sits on a hill, overlooking the ocean.
in the 17th century, for a while the dutch kingdom controlled the region of pernambuco, but eventually portugal re-gained it.
olinda is famous for its churches and its classical houses. parts of its downtown quarter and the buildings there became a world heritage site.
several of its splendid churches show their age - and the fact that olinda does not have the money anymore to fully maintain them, inspite of their historic significance.
the many traditional houses and residences are colourful and mostly delicately designed.
houses outside the inner city usually have a garden with lots of plants, many of them year-round.
olinda is also one of brazil's cultural centers. this includes its unusual carnival festivities. in its old town many wall paintings can be seen.
besides culture culture culture, olinda is appreciated for its posh restaurants. this one here, in addition to its excellent food, also pleases with art pieces in the entrance hall.
ironically, how the many painters living in olinda present their works on the street is almost an art exhibition!
to end this essay - yes it's true, olinda is not at all one of the large or super-large cities in brazil, yet is is certainly worth a visit!