From the New Year’s welcome procession to the moqueca on the beach
The Neighborhood emerged in the colonial period and had the first workers village of Salvador
It is in the Boa Viagem neighborhood that the old year ends and the new year actually begins, in Salvador. At least it has been this way since 1750, when the neighborhood celebrates the tributes and blessings to Bom Jesus dos Navegantes. The followers accompany the Galeota Gratidão do Povo on land and at sea in one of the most beautiful moments of the year in the capital of Bahia. The neighborhood emerged in the colonial period and grew around the Church of Our Lady of Boa Viagem, which was built between the years 1712 and 1714.
An important milestone in the history of the neighborhood was the construction of the workers village of Boa Viagem, by Luiz Tarquínio, to house the employees of his factory, “Empório Industrial do Norte”, located on the peninsula. This was the first workers village in Salvador, opened in 1892. The project was inspired by the “tenement houses”, British workers’ condominiums.
The neighboring districts are Roma (where Obras de Irmã Dulce are found), Monte Serrat (it borders the Ponta do Humaitá Lighthouse and Monte Serrat Fort) and Bonfim (where the most beloved church in Bahia is located). The total area of Boa Viagem neighborhood begins on the Itapagipe Peninsula and goes until Comércio, with a large part facing the All Saints Bay. To give you greater geolocation, the Itapagipe Peninsula comprises Boa Viagem Beach and the neighborhoods of Alagados, Bonfim, Monte Serrat, Ribeira, Uruguay, Mares, Roma, Caminho de Areia, Vila Ruy Barbosa, Massaranduba, among others.
Boa Viagem Beach is a beauty spot on the shore of Salvador. Nearby, there are restaurants that serve delicious moquecas (fish-stews) and also have a panoramic view of the All Saints Bay and Ponta do Humaitá lighthouse. From the welcome procession and New Year’s party, to the moqueca on the beach, learn more stories from the Boa Viagem neighborhood.
A Historic church
The Church of Our Lady of Boa Viagem is small, a historic gem of the neighborhood. Built in the Portuguese Baroque style, it is located in Largo da Boa Viagem and was built around 1712, according to records from the National Institute of Artistic and Historical Heritage (Iphan).
Its facade, facing the sea, has a single tower and is covered with tiles of Portuguese origin, blue and ivory colors, with four bells – the oldest is from the year 1810. Currently, the church preserves four baroque images: Our Lady of Boa Viagem, Bom Jesus dos Navegantes, Our Lady of Nativity and St. Sebastian.
Next to it is the headquarters of Galeota Gratidão do Povo, which bears the image of Bom Jesus during the procession. There is a trail that connects this building to the beach, a peculiar and indispensable setting to transport this historic vessel from land to the sea. In the past, this region was a famous warehouse for unloading and also loading goods.
The set formed by the Church and Hospice of Our Lady of Boa Viagem is the arrival point of the famous maritime procession of Bom Jesus dos Navegantes, on January 1st, since 1750. The religious act takes place in the first hours of the first day of each year with the arrival of the Galeota Nosso Senhor dos Navegantes, from the Church of Our Lady of Conceição da Praia, in Comércio, until Boa Viagem. The day before, the image of Nosso Senhor dos Navegantes (Our Lord of Navigators) comes out in procession to the Basilica of Conceição da Praia.
On the following Sunday, there is the land procession, which takes the route from the neighborhood of Luiz Tarquínio to Boa Viagem, passing by Dendezeiros. There is no information of when the procession of Nosso Senhor dos Navegantes started, but today it is one of the most important religious dates in Bahia, which brings together Bahians and tourists.
Galeota Gratidão do Povo makes the maritime procession in Salvador, carrying the image of Senhor Bom Jesus dos Navegantes for almost 130 years. To learn more about this story, click on this link.
Learn more about this celebration on this link. There are curiosities and information about what happens in the neighborhood on daily life.
The beaches of Boa Viagem and Praia do Meio are places of beauty within the shore of Salvador. Next to the Monte Serrat Fort, it is a haven for the eyes. It has a reef formation and a panoramic view of the Barra lighthouse. The warm waters are an invitation to the invigorating sea.
Near the beach, there are several restaurants, most specializing in seafood dishes. But the moquecas are among the most requested dishes.
Praia da Boa Viagem. Salvador, Bahia. Foto Amanda Oliveira.