Salvador, Brazil, the capital of Bahía state and one of Brazil's largest cities. The city is known locally as Bahía, but Salvador is the official name. Salvador lies at the entrance to Todos os Santos Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, about 750 miles (1,200 km) northeast of Rio de Janeiro. It is the commercial, industrial, and transportation center for an agricultural area that produces tobacco, sugarcane, and cacao. Manufactured products include cigars, cigarettes, and cocoa. The city has an excellent port.
Salvador is built on two levels, connected by elevators and roads. The Baixa, along the bay, is the shipping and commercial section. The Alta, some 200 feet (60 m) above the Baixa, is the site of government buildings, hotels, residences, and the main shopping district. Here also are numerous 17th- and 18th-century fortifications and buildings. The city is the seat of the state university, founded in 1946.
Salvador, founded in 1549, is one of Brazil's oldest cities. It soon became the capital and leading city of Portuguese America. Rio de Janeiro was made the capital of Brazil in 1763, but Salvador continued to be an important commercial center and port.