Feira de Santana is a city in Bahia, Brazil. It is the second most important city in the state, with a population of 519,173 according to IBGE's estimate. It is located 115 km northwest of Salvador, Bahia's capital city. These cities are connected by BR-324, a 4-lane divided highway. Feira de Santana's nickname is "a princesa do sertao" or "the princess of the desert".
Feira de Santana takes is name in honor of two of its founders. In the 18th Century, Domingos Barbosa de Araujo and his wife Anna Brandoa built a chapel on the Fazenda Sant'Anna dos Olhos D’Água (Saint Anna of the Eyes of Water Plantation). They dedicated the chapel to their Saint, Saint Anna.
The location gradually became a common stopping point for voyagers and traders from the high desert of Bahia and from other states on the trail to the port of Cachoeira and other important villages of Bahia. The area also developed a periodic market together with a prosperous cattle commerce.
Eventually many Brazilians and foreigners began to adopt the area that would become Feira de Santanta as their home. The City began to develop with wide streets which were bordered by many commercial houses which served the area's growing population. As the area's growth accelerated, the residents created the City of Feira de Santana. Feira de Santana became the second City in Bahia and the 31st City of Brazil. Feira de Santana's important geographic location and the hospitality of its people continued to attract new residents.
Today, Feira de Santana is the second largest City in Bahia. Feira de Santana also remains an important stopping point for travelers, containing a major junction of Northeastern Brazil's highways. The City functions as a crossroads for the traffic coming from the South and West-Central portions of Brazil and bound for Salvador and other important cities of the northeast. Feira de Santana, thanks in part to its longstanding importance as a crossroads and its proximity to Salvador, is an important and diverse commercial and industrial center. The University of Feira de Santana is located in the city. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Feira de Santana.
Feira de Santana is famous for its parties and festivals, such as Senhora Sant'Ana in the second week of January, which features activities such as bumba-meu-boi, segura-a-véia and burrinha. The Micareta carnival party is held 15 days after Passover; the Festival of Violeiros, in September; and the Donkey Race in November. The City boasts of several interesting tourist destinations including the market of popular arts, the museum of contemporary art and the Antares Astronomical Observatory.