Vitoria Tourist Attractions
VitóriaSituation and CharacteristicsVitória, capital of Espírito Santo, was founded in 1551 on the Ilha da Vitória (area 91sq.km/35sq.mi) in Vitória Bay.
It is 521km/324mi from Rio de Janeiro, 524km/326mi from Belo Horizonte and 1202km/747mi from Salvador.Bus stationOn outskirts of town on BR 101 Sul expresswayAirportAeroporto Nacional VitóriaThe colonization of this stretch of coast began on Whit Sunday May 23rd 1535 with the foundation of Vila do Espírito Santo (Espírito Santo 5 Holy Ghost). Following constant attacks by the local Indians the settlement was moved in 1551 to a safer site on the Ilha da Vitória and renamed Vila Nova de Espírito Santo. The original site is now occupied by the town of Vila Velha (Old Town).Vitória, situated between hills and the sea, consists of an upper and a lower town. The upper town (Cidade Alta) with its narrow streets, colonial houses and churches is the historic core of the town. It is linked by flights of steps - the best known of which is the Escadaria Maria Ortiz - with the lower town (Cidade Baixa), the business and financial center.
The chapel of Santa Luzia (1551; national monument) in Rua José Marcelino (upper town) is the oldest building on the island. It is now occupied by an art gallery and a research center of the University of Espírito Santo.
Igreja do Rosário
The Igreja do Rosário (Church of the Rosary; 1765) is in Rua do Rosário, to the right of Praça da Catedral.
Museu Solar Monjardim
Museu Solar MonjardimAt the end of Avenida Paulino Müller (Jacutuquara district) is the Museu Solar Monjardim, housed in an 18th century mansion which is one of the finest examples of Brazilian rural architecture.
The church of São Gonçalo is on Rua São Gonçalo, to the left of Praça da Catedral (reached by way of Rua Francisco Araújo). Both churches are protected as national monuments.
Morro da fonte Grande
The Morro da Fonte Grande ("Hill of the Great Spring"; 312m/1024ft), 5km/3mi from the center, between the Jacutuquara and Santo Antônio districts, is the highest point within the area of the town. From the summit, on which there are a number of radio aerials, there are fine views of Vitória and its bay.
Palácio Domingos Martins
Palácio Domingos MartinsThe Palácio Domingos Martins, built in 1606 on the site of an earlier church of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia, is now occupied by the Parliament of Espírito Santo. The palace is named after Domingos José Martins, one of the leaders of the Pernambuco revolution of 1817, who was born in Espírito Santo.
São FranciscoOn the Colina de São Francisco (upper town) are the ruins of the friary of São Francisco, the building of which was begun by a friar named Antônio dos Mártires in 1591. It was the first Franciscan building outside north-eastern Brazil.
Baía de Vitória
Baía de VitóriaThe wide expanse of Vitória Bay, dotted with small islands, is dominated by two of the town's landmarks, the Penedo Crag and the Castelo de Mendonça Bridge.
Capixaba Craft Market
Craft MarketIn the Mercado Capixaba de Artesanato (Capixaba Craft Market), in Avenida Princesa Isabel, fashion jewelry, ceramics and a great variety of articles made from straw, shells, wood and other materials are offered for sale.
Carlos Gomes Theatre
The Carlos Gomes Theatre (1927) on Praça Costa Pereira (to the east of Praça D. Luís Scortegagna and below the Rosary church) is the oldest theatre in Espírito Santo.
Castelo de Mendonça
Castelo de Mendonça BridgeThe Ponte Darcy Castelo de Mendonça, also known as the Terceira Ponte (Third Bridge), links the ends of the bay. Since its construction the time required to reach Vila Velha (13km/8mi) has been reduced by ten minutes.
Gruta da Onça
Gruta da OnçaAt the end of Rua Barão de Bonjardim, near Avenida Princesa Isabel, is the Gruta da Onça ("Panther's Cave"), a small mata atlântica reserve with an orchid garden and a mineral spring.
Moscoso ParkIn Moscoso Park (area 48,000sq.m/57,400sq.yds), in the town center (to the west of the Colina de São Francisco), are a number of lakes, a small zoo, an amusement park, a chapel and a fountain which is illuminated at night.
Palácio AnchietaOn Praça João Climaco (upper town) is the Palácio Anchieta, now housing the state government but originally a Jesuit college, with the church of São Tiago (17th century).
Pedra dos Dois Olhos
6km/4mi from the town center, between the Jacutuquara and Maruípe districts, is the Pedra dos Dois Olhos ("Rock of the Two Eyes"; 136m/446ft), also known as the Pico do Frei Leonardi. The "eyes" are two cavities carved out by erosion.
Rua José Marcelino leads to Praça D. Luís Scortegagna, in which is the Cathedral (1918).
Parque Tancredo Neves
Tancredo Neves Park, with gardens and various sports facilities, is reached by way of Avenida Getúlio Vargas, which runs along the coast.
Penedo CragThe Penedo Crag is a massive block of granite 136m/446ft high which rises out of the sea, guarding the entrance to the bay.
Ilha do Frade
Ilha do FradeAnother bridge links the Ilha da Vitória with the Ilha do Frade ("Friar's Island"; area 38sq.km/15sq.mi), 8km/5mi from Vitória. Its small beaches, fringed by rocks and reefs, attract mainly water sports enthusiasts (rowers, wind-surfers). Reached by way of Avenida Beira-Mar.
Ilha do Boi
Ilha do BoiThe Ilha do Boi ("Ox Island"), 7km/4.3mi from the town center, was formerly used for keeping cattle in quarantine before they were taken to the various settlements on the mainland. It is now very different, with some of the town's most luxurious villas. There are a number of small beaches on the island, on which various water sports are practised.
Praia do Suá
Praia do Suá5km/3mi north of the town, near the Ilha do Boi, is the Praia do Suá. This is the starting-point of the procession of boats which celebrates the feast of St Paul (June 29th).
Praia do Canto
Praia do CantoThe Praia do Canto (6km/4mi from the town center) is one of Vitória's most popular resorts, with its many bars and its Parque dos Namorados ("Lovers' Park"; gardens, sports facilities, skateboard rink).There is a very popular craft market in the park on Saturdays.
Praia de Camburi
Praia de CamburiTubarão HarborAvenida Dante Michellini leads to the Praia do Camburi (9km/5.6mi), a great center of night life. The beach ends at the Tubarão promontory, on which is Tubarão Harbor, the most important port for the shipment of iron ore from Minas Gerais.
Map of Vitoria Attractions