Ouro Preto and Mariana

ouro_pretoOuro Preto 

Points of interest:

Known for its innumerous baroque churches, for its musical events and his historical museums. Churches: São Francisco de Assis, Nossa Senhor do Pilar, Nossa Senhor da Conceição, etc. On the weekends you can go the neighboring colonial city Mariana (12km) by an original steam train.

 

History:

The whole city is cultural heritage and protected by the UNESCO foundation. The town is a masterpiece of Brazilian colonial architecture and was an deciding place in national history. The first independence movement “Inconfidência Mineira” started here. In the churches you can see a lot of gold and engraved masterpieces of Aleijadinho and Athayde. At the end of the 17th century the prospectors came to the rivers of Itacolomi. From Ouro Preto you can see the characteristic top of the Itacolomi mountains. The prospectors came from São Paulo, Portugal and the northeast of Brazil, searching for better living conditions and hoping to find a Brazilian Eldorado.

The baroque in Ouro Preto is different to the colonial architecture at the Brazilian coastline. Its style is unique and can be considered as typical Brazilian. The artists searched for ways that mix up the norms of the European baroque with forms, fauna and colors from Brazil. The French Revolution in 1789 influenced these artists a lot. The liberal movement began inspired by the illuminist ideas and the American Revolution in 1763-1783 and resulted in the failed independence movement “Inconfidência Mineira”.

 

Curiosities:

The traditional 67 student fraternities are visible all over town. In the last centuries these fraternities developed their own culture and rules. The Teatro Municipal de Ouro Preto is the oldest still functioning theatre of Latin America.

 

Distance to the capital Belo Horizonte: 104km

 

mariana_igrejaMariana

Points of interest:

Cathedral of Sé, the Museum of the Archdiocese, the Church of São Francisco, the church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, the “Passagem” gold mine, etc. On the weekends you can go the neighboring colonial city Ouro Preto (12km) by an original steam train.

 

History:

The first gold was found in rivers of this region in 1696. A small village of gold seekers was build at the riverside. Later it became the first capital of Minas Gerais and in 1745 the archdiocese was based here, changing the name of the town into Mariana, in devotement to Queen Maria Ana of Austria, wife of João the Fifth, King of Portugal (1706-1750).

 

Curiosities:

Mariana was the first village in Minas Gerais and became the first Archdiocese. In the cathedral you will see an original Arp Schnitger pipe organ, imported from Germany in 1701. The organ was painted with Chinese ornamentations, these were on vogue at that time, and 1.039 pipes. You can listen to the organ every Friday at 11AM and every Sunday at 12.15PM.

The old “Passagem” gold mine is deactivated, but can be visited. It is known for the beauty of the subterranean seas and visible gold veins.

 

Distance to the capital Belo Horizonte: 118km

Day-use

 

Private Tour: Tuesday to Sunday

Optional transfer by Steam Train: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

09:00AM – Meeting point: Hotel or Residence

10:30AM – Visit to the baroque church Nossa Senhor do Pilar, São Francisco e Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Visit to the Soap Stone market

13:30PM – Lunch

13:30PM – Optional:  Visit to the gold mine “Mina da Passagem”

03:00PM – Arrival in Mariana – Sightseeing: Praça Minas Gerais, Casa de Câmara de Cadeia, the baroque church São Francisco de Assis and the cathedral da Sé.

05:00PM – Return to Belo Horizonte

06:30PM – Arrival at the Hotel or Residence


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