The twin towns of CACHOEIRA and São Félix, two hours by bus from Salvador, are only a few kilometres apart across the Rio Paraguaçu, which an iron box-girder bridge (built by British engineers in 1885 and opened by Emperor Dom Pedro himself) spans. Cachoeira, one of the most beautiful colonial towns of Bahia, is easily the more impressive, its profusion of splendidly preserved buildings evidence of its importance in the eighteenth century. The rich sugar plantations of the Paraguaçu Valley supported a trading centre that rivalled Salvador in size and wealth until the beginning of the nineteenth century.

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