History

Olinda was the original capital of Pernambuco, founded in 1535. Sacked and burnt, including all its Catholic churches, by the Calvinist Dutch in 1631, it was rebuilt; but it finally lost its ascendancy when Recife’s merchants eclipsed Olinda’s sugar barons in a bloody 18th-century feud called the Guerra dos Mascates. Although many Olinda buildings were originally constructed in the 16th century, most of what you see today dates from the 18th century and after.