Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Olinda, Brazil






Olinda is a beautifully preserved historic town in Brazil. Located in the state of Pernambuco, on the northeastern part of Brazil, it is the main town of Brazil's sugar cane industry. It was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, and was rebuilt in the 18th century following an attack by the Dutch. Today there are some twenty Baroque churches in Olinda, along with other heritage buildings, gardens, and numerous passos, or chapels.

The historic centre of Olinda was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 6th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Paris on 13-17 December, 1982.

Photos of Historic Centre of Olinda

Chapel of São Roque, Convent of São Francisco, Olinda
Chapel of São Roque, Convent of São Francisco, Olinda
Author: Ricardo André Frantz (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Olinda, Brazil
Olinda, Brazil
Author: Opinoso (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Meteorological Observatory of Olinda
Meteorological Observatory of Olinda
Author: David Moraes de Andrade (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Igreja de São Bento, Olinda
Igreja de São Bento, Olinda
Author: Ricardo André Frantz (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

About Olinda

Olinda was founded in 1535 by Duarte Coelho Pereira. It gained town status in 1537, and became the Diocese of Olinda in 1676. During the period when Portugal was united with Spain in the Iberian Union of 1580-1640, the Dutch took the opportunity to attack the town. The Dutch controlled Olinda until Portugal reestablished its authority in 1640.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: S8 0 48 W34 50 42 in the State of Pernambuco, in northeast Brazil
Inscription Year: 1982
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV

Location Map


View Olinda in a larger map

Visiting Historic Centre of Olinda

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is the town of Recife. You may have to enter Brazil through its main cities such as Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. From there, take a domestic flight to Recife. From there, you can make the arrangements to go to Olinda, which is just 7km from Recife.

As part of the preparations, here are hotels in the different cities with online booking facilities.

Getting there

You can take a bus or taxi from Recife.

Book Hotel Rooms in Brazil and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Brazil or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.


Local Tours of Brazil

Brazil is an exciting location, and often the only way to enjoy it fully is to join a local tour. Here are some local tours of Brazil that you may want to include to your itinerary. They save you time and cost of doing it yourself. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

Return to Brazil's World Heritage Sites
Return to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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