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In the late 19th Century, funiculars and an elevator, the The city became the seat of the first Catholic bishopric of Brazil in 1552, and is still a center of Brazilian Catholicism.
By 1583, there were 1,600 people residing in the city, and it quickly grew into one of the largest cities in the New World, surpassing any colonial American city at the time of the American Revolution in 1776.
A particularly notable feature is the escarpment that divides Salvador into the , has connected the two sections since 1873, having since undergone several upgrades.
The Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport connects Salvador with Brazilian cities and also operates international flights, and the city is home to the Federal University of Bahia.
In 1501, one year after the arrival of Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet in Porto Seguro, Gaspar de Lemos arrived at Todos os Santos Bay and sailed most of the Bahia coast.
But the first European man to disembark on "Morro de São Paulo," Saint Paul's Mount, was Martim Afonso de Sousa, in 1531, leading an expedition to explore the coast of the new continent.
In 1510, a ship, containing the Portuguese settler named Caramuru by the natives, wrecked near the borough of Rio Vermelho.
Notable writers associated with Salvador include Jorge Amado, considered one of Brazil's greatest authors and fabulists, and João Ubaldo Ribeiro.
The famous Brazilian visual artist Carybé is based in Salvador as well.