Ilhéus Things to Do

  • smooth waters, fooling around
    smooth waters, fooling around
    by schurlif
  • In the Casa De Cultura Jorge Amado 1
    In the Casa De Cultura Jorge Amado 1
    by schurlif
  • View to the Cathedral, CineTeatro and R. Vesúvio
    View to the Cathedral, CineTeatro and R....
    by schurlif

Most Recent Things to Do in Ilhéus

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    A short walk through downtown Ilheus

    by schurlif Written Feb 4, 2014

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    busy street view
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    It's an inviting idea to take a stroll through these little busy streets, many of them only for pedestrians..... No stress, very little traffic....

    Next to Restaurante Vesúvio and across from Casa de Cultura is Cine Teatro Ilheus, the municipal theater which later also became a cinema.... I'm still dizzy reading about its history, started off with a deal between an entrepreneur and the city mayor, the former asking for the donation of a lot in the city center in return for building a theater and running if for 30 years with tax incentives after which the theater would be returned to the city. The mayor accepted the deal and everything was neatly put into written contracts. Whereupon the following mayor, without checking anything ( incredible as it may sound ) ordered to incinerate ( !!! ) all documents older than 5 years.... What follows is acquisition by brothers in the film business, passing of one of the owners, seven heirs discussing, family reunions about what should be done. lots of bickering and more "bla bla", until the theater was finally donated back to the city, long time before the 30 years had run out..... The mayor at the time accepted the donation and a commemorative plaque was attached next to the entrance. And under the next mayor, the one who is now not aware of the dismal condition of the park benches across the city hall ( SEE BELOW ) , that commemorative plaque was removed from one day to the other without explanation...... go figure Brazilian politics from federal to municipal....

    A nice little park in front of city hall, alas some of the benches are without seats, empty holes..... Helloooooo, mayor !!!! Do you ever look out of your window or walk just across the street ?? Bad impression, I must say....

    Cityhall is a nice looking pinkish white colored neoclassic architectural lovable monstrosity (IMHO).... Built lavishly as the Palácio Paranaguá in 1907 during the cocoa boom it was named after the governor of Bahia during imperial times, the Marquis João Lustosa da Cunha Paranaguá who elevated Ilheus' status from just plain village, Vila de São Jorge dos Ilheus, ( vila = village ) to city in 1881....

    There are many shops in the busy pedestrian streets, typical commercial for Brazilian inner cities....
    Nice little city, even though not that small really, 220.000 inhabitants....

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    A visit to São Sebastião Catedral

    by schurlif Written Feb 4, 2014

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    front view
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    The higly visible from everywhere land mark of Ilheus is this practically "brandnew" cathedral. Construction started in 1931 after demolishing the ( very ) old chapel that stood in its place (baffling disrespect for a historic building ) and stalled right away... There were misunderstandings and bickerings re the architect blueprint and other issues...

    Then, in 1967, the cathedral was inaugurated, 36 years after initiating construction.

    I still wonder why a place, founded in 1534 does not have one buiding ( I'm guessing, didn't see any ) older than, say, 150 years..... Why wouldn't anybody try to conserve historically interesting structures ? Why, in fact, is it generally so paramount for the persons in charge in Brazil to tear down what is old ( old meaning beginning of the 20th century ) and replace it with what is new and supposedly modern and progressive ?

    There's one gigantic pro point to this Cathedral though, a real relief.... I'll explain at the end....

    In historical Salvador there are like at least 7 or 8 or more churches, a few from the 17th century, others from the 18th century with exquisite tiles from Portugal and lavishly gold covered carvings, impressing the poor church attendants, showing them the might and splendor of the church.... while outside in the streets around the church shabby dressed , small young black kids hustle and beg for a few coins, kids whose forefathers were forced into labor building these churches without reward... And I didn't have the impression that there was any help and compassion for these kids coming out anywhere from these selfrighteous and vain golden palaces..

    These reflections were among my thoughts when I looked at Sao Sebastião Cathedral..... built by regular construction workers during regular working hours for a regular salary.... No whips "necessary" ..... Good so....!

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    A supplement to the Casa de Cultura tip

    by schurlif Written Feb 4, 2014
    Omolu who embraced me.....
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    There's a real curiosity in Casa de Cultura Jorge Amado... I have to admit that I haven't read any of his books but it is probable that he mentioned in his work Bahia's "secret" pagan religion, Candomblé, wild, old, blackest African rituals, obviously brought with the slaves as of the 16th century.
    Loud drum beatings, black women in simple wide white dresses stumping in a circle, chanting monotonely, arms moving in the air, then eventually shrieking at the top of their lungs, head up to the top, eyes rolling, pupils disappearing and.... entering into trance and then falling to the floor, ecstatically shaking and fainting.....
    I witnessed a secret Candomblé session back in 2002 in Salvador.... What I didn't forget is a tall figure all covered from head to toe in straw, even the face, the Candomblé god Omolu portrayed by a heavy and very sweaty guy who, I can just take a wild guess , embraced my two Austrian friends and me to show us a hefty and warm welcome....
    Now there was a whole array of mini statuettes of Candomblé deities in the Casa de Cultura Jorge Amado. Interesting and nice to look at.....
    I asked the cute looking, very young, blond ( female ) museum guide who obviously knew every detail about Jorge Amado's life about the deity statuettes and their significance..... and that's where she stumbled..... She just didn't know how to put this in words, to far out and weird for a nice Brazilian catholic girl.... she mumbled a bit and finally, embarassedly came up with the "explanation" comparing the deities to the 12 apostles, then she pointed to one of the figures and said: "This is Jesus !" I was in awe, dumbfounded. This is Jesus ?? Well, I went easy on her as she was really trying to be helpful.... I asked her though what had made her believe that an authentic, black African ritualistic religion from centuries ago would make comparisons and allegories to christian beliefs.... She shrugged the shoulders and said: "People understand it better this way....", Ahh !! That really explains it perfectly..... :-)

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    Casa de Cultura Jorge Amado

    by schurlif Updated Feb 3, 2014
    In the Casa De Cultura Jorge Amado 1
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    This quaint little "museum" is rather an hommage to the omnipresent Jorge Amado, the greatest son of Ilheus.... Built 1926 during Ilheus' cocoa boom, it is rather modest with its steep narrow staircases and small rooms.... but neatly refurbished and well worth a visit.... again, even though there's honestly not much to see... bleached covers of Amado's books with russian and other foreign titles, an array of sculptures of Candomblé deities ( will show in the next tip ), Amado's original writing machine, 50' style, some beautiful small english wall tiles, a yellow painted corridor, floor to top interesting old style windows, that's about it....

    Nonetheless, this little place is the right spot to "feel" the essence of Ilheus' near past, especially Jorge Amado's.... ( 10.08.1912 - 06.08.2001 )

    Entrance ( Jan 2014 ) was 4 R$ = about U$ 1.62.

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    A day at one of Bahia's beautiful beaches

    by schurlif Written Feb 2, 2014

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    looking north
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    OF COURSE, when you're at this sunbaked coast. you must spend a whole day at the beach.....Do NOT forget your sunblock !! In Ilheus I only got to know "Millionaire's Beach" ( Praia Dos Milhonários ) and I highly recommend it.

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    Casa de Cultura Jorge Amado

    by NedHopkins Updated Sep 7, 2003
    Amado Family Townhouse

    Jorge Amado was born on a cocoa plantation outside Ilheus, but spent much of his early childhood in the City of Ilheus.

    His family's townhouse -- one of the more modest of the cocoa baron 'mansions' -- has been nicely restored. Made a museum in 1997, it houses a collection of photographs, books, local artefacts, and personal items of the writer. There's also a restaurant -- a snack bar, really -- in the Casa.

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    Port of Ilhéus

    by Alaoliv Written Mar 18, 2003
    Taken from the N. S. Piedade Institute

    The Port of Ilhéus is the second biggest one in open sea, and serves mainly to trade agricultural products like cocoa.
    It also has a passenger's terminal, and some cruise lines regularly go there during summer time.

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    Visit to N. S. Piedade Church and Convent

    by Alaoliv Written Mar 18, 2003

    In the top of a hill, with the most astonishing view from most of the city.
    It was built in the 1910's, and since then is has a nunnery and one of the best schools of the city.
    The church with its towers are very representative of the new-gothic style.

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    ''Cabana Itacarezinho''

    by Sunshinekiss Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Itacarezinho private beach

    While most tourists are going to 'Itacare' for it beautiful beaches on the way I discored a private beach called: 'Itacarezinho' (little Itacare). Great place to eat, relax and be in touch with nature as NOT many tourists have yet discoverd. The blue clear waters of Itacarezinho is so warm that you almost feel like you are in a spa. Great place and worth visiting.

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Ilhéus Things to Do

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