Salvador da Bahia, once the capital of Brazil is not only known for its beautiful Portuguese architecture and Afro-Brazilian culture, but also because the city is constructed on two levels, the lower city (Cidade Baixa) and an upper city (Cidade Alta) with a 85 metre difference in elevation. The two areas were initially connected by stairs until, in 1610, Jesuit missionaries created a complex pulley system to be able to transport people and goods.
In 1868, Antonio Lacerda embarked on a project to create a hydraulic lift (72m) using steam engines, counterweights and hydraulics, and in doing so invented the first ever public elevator which started operating in 1873. In the early 1928, Otis converted the elevator to electricity and two years later underwent an external Artdeco makeover. The elevator now carries approximately 900 000 people every month in what can only be described as the most magnificent panoramic view of Salvador.