Historical cities of Minas Gerais, Brasil – Ouro Preto, Lavras Novas and Mariana

Portuguese Version

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Ouro Preto is 62 miles away from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and it’s one of the greatest set of baroque architecture in the country! If you’re staying in BH you can do a go-return to the small town nestled in the mountains. The old Villa Rica was founded in 1711 and guard in their colonial houses, museums, churches, streets and stone walls, the history of Brazil. No wonder, in 1980, it was the first brazilian city to receive the title of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

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colonial houses

Ouro Preto is an open air museum. It was the scene of the Inconfidência Mineira, a brazilian independence movement. One of the main touristic places is the Tiradentes Square where the martyr Joaquim José da Silva Xavier was hanged. In this square there is a Tourist Information Center where you get the informations for to plan your route. Prepare to climb up and down slope streets!

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Tiradentes Square

In the Inconfidência Museum, located in the Tiradentes Square, you will find mortal remains of several conspirators and wooden pieces used in the gallows of Tiradentes. 😮

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Inconfidência Museum
There are 13 churches in Ouro Preto. The Church of São Francisco of Assis began to be built in 1766. It shelters sculptures of Aleijadinho and works of Mestre Ataíde.
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Church of São Francisco of Assis
If you like craftwork, Ouro Preto has several shops and the Largo do Coimbra Craft Fair (Soapstone crafts).
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Largo do Coimbra Craft Fair
In July, the Winter Festival of Ouro Preto, carried out by the Federal University of Ouro Preto – UFOP, is the attraction of the tourists. The event joins music, theater, literature and many other cultural-artistic manifestations. In 2015 the festival will from 8 to 24th of July.
Restaurant tip:The city offers some good restaurants and I indicate the Restaurante Chafariz. It has great variety of salads, desserts and typical food of Minas Gerais. The fixed price is R$ 50,00 (in June of 2014). It is a little expensive but it’s worth its price. Interesting decoration and quality service. Address: 167, Saint José st, center. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 16 pm.
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Restaurante Chafariz

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If you have free time visit Lavras Novas and Mariana.
Village with 1500 inhabitants with simple small houses in colonial style. They say that it was a quilombo (a camp for freed and runaways slaves) because most of the residents are black but there is no proof of that. The bus from Lavras Novas to Ouro Preto costs R$ 5,10 and you take it in the Praça da Estação (Station Square). The distance is 17 km. More informations: 031-3551-6096 (Transcotta).
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Lavras Novas
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Church Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
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MARIANA – Minas da Passagem
The bigger gold mine opened to the visitation of the world. Go down for a trolley to 120 meters of depth. The flooded part is used by divers.
How to come:
Car: Follow the MG-262 from Ouro Preto to Mariana. In the way there, before Mariana, will be a plate. Enter on the left. 5 minutes of Ouro Preto.
Bus: circulars pass in front of mine. Talk to the driver.

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Go down for a trolley
Tips for visiting Ouro Preto:
1- Use tennis
2- Bring a coat in the winter