Welcome to Canudos

Today, the city has a significant cultural activity, with handicrafts, groups for the June festivals, and theater companies

The Northeast region was the stage of one of the most remarkable moments in the history of Brazil, more precisely in the city of Canudos, where the resistance against the oppression of republican troops, led by Antônio Conselheiro took place. The “Canudos War” was one of the country’s most remarkable episodes, in which more than 25,000 people lost their lives during the conflicts, which has left marks that are difficult to erase. 

Almost 125 years after the end of the conflict, the city today is one of the icons of Brazilian historical and cultural tourism, with natural attractions such as parks, ecological trails, observatories, museums, and memorials. 

Located in Bahia’s countryside, Canudos gathers inhospitable landscapes with cliffs and canyons, as well as a very typical vegetation and cacti of all types and shapes. Such region hosts the most diverse, fully Brazilian, biome in the world, the Caatinga. Many say that the vegetation resistance is intertwined with that of the people of the region, as the population manages to create ways to live with the arid climate in harmony with the beautiful local flora and fauna. 

Things to do in Canudos

The Canudos State Park is the ideal place for history buffs, and for those who want to get a closer look at the impacts of the Canudos War. It is an open-air museum capable of housing historical, archaeological and anthropological sites, in addition to a breathtaking landscape. Moreover, visitors have the chance to visit the memorial and the Cruzeiro in honor of Antônio Conselheiro, leader of the religious movement that led the resistance in the Canudos War, as well as access to records from the time, such as images and objects found by researchers, such as ammunition and even fragments of grenades used in the conflict. 

A few kilometers from downtown Canudos, there is an observatory that provides a beautiful view of the region, with the city on one side and the dam on the other. It is there that, once again, one may sense the strong presence of Antônio Conselheiro thanks to a large statue of the religious leader, who seems to bless the place.

Canudos is also an option for ecological tourism, being one of the most popular destinations for those who like to watch birds in their habitats. In town, it is possible to find the only remaining population of the Lear’s Macaw in the world. It is located in the Ecoregion of Raso da Catarina, which houses the dormitories of the species considered one of the symbols of the biodiversity of the backlands (sertão).

Jeremoabo and Euclides da Cunha

The history of Bahia’s countryside is rich, comprehensive, and goes beyond Canudos. As an example we have the city of Jeremoabo, as it was originally founded by Tupinambás of the Muongorus and Cariacás groups. The region has gone through several conflicts since it was formed, when the Portuguese colonial administrator, Garcia d’Ávila, captured the indigenous people and created corrals to raise cattle. The original settlement was burned down by D’Ávila, and later rebuild through the intervention of the Pope and the colonial government. Already in July 1925, Jeremoabo finally gained the status of a city that today has an estimated population of more than 40,000 inhabitants. 

Like Jeremoabo, the city of Euclides da Cunha was also founded by indigenous people, the Caimbés, from the Tupiniquim tribe, and it was pioneered by settlers from surrounding regions, especially Monte Santo and Tucano, who settled with their families and dedicated themselves to farming and cattle raising, which are still the basis of the local economy.

On September 19, 1933, the territory was emancipated, raised to the category of municipality, consisting of two districts: Cumbe (the headquarters) and Canudos. On the initiative of the writer José Aras, as a tribute to the writer of Os Sertões (Rebellion in the Backlands), it was then renamed Euclides da Cunha, which only became official in 1938.

Today, the city has a significant cultural activity, with handicrafts, groups for the June festivals, and theater companies. Moreover, it is possible to see the beautiful work of craftsmen and craftswomen who work with clay, piaçava and other materials found within the region.