Olinda is a city in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. It hosts one of Brazil's most famous carnivals and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its 16th and 17th century buildings. Many bars, restaurants, artist and craftspeople studios add charm to the old-town setting.
Olinda was founded in 1537 by the Portuguese Duarte Coelho Pereira. It owed its rapid rise to the sugarcane plantations around its area. From the 16th century onward, religious missions built many churches and convents. The city was, however, pillaged and burnt down by the Dutch in 1631. One of the few surviving buildings is the Church of São João. The Portuguese returned in 1654. Most of the buildings at Olinda date from the 18th century.
Olinda's beautiful scenery and architecture make for a pleasant sightseeing all around. Colonial architecture, belvederes and the blue sea paint a relaxed environment that is second to none among Brazilian traditional cities.