São Luís is the capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhão. The city is located on São Luís island in the Baía de São Marcos, an extension of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the estuary of Pindaré, Mearim, Itapecuru and other rivers.
Originally the town was a large village of the Tupinambá tribe.
São Luís was founded by the French in 1612. It was later invaded by the Dutch and finally reclaimed by the Portuguese. The Centro Historico is a type of open-air museum filled with uncountable architectural elements and details, where streets covered in stones, corners, narrow side streets, balconies, inviting the visitors to wonder about the rich past of this one time rich, prestigious and promising Brazilian City.
Nowadays, São Luís has the largest and best preserved heritages of colonial Portuguese architecture of all Latin America. The island also known as the "Island of Love" .
In 1997 the city's historical center was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting in 1989 there has been an extensive program to restore and renovate the colonial era buildings of the city's historical center.
In Old Town have old buildings that show the history of the city like Igreja da Sé Nossa Senhora da Vitória and Maranhão State Capitol called of Palácio dos Leões.
In Downtown have new constructions like the luxurious Residencial Salvador Dalí and the highest of them Saquarema.