Tiradentes

A trip through history.

 

By Renata Solano

The mineira city of Tiradentes is an important piece of Brazilian history and in 1938 it became a National Historical Heritage site. With around 6500 inhabitants, this city attracts hundreds of people interested in getting to know a part of the past, and who want to savour the famous and rich mineira cuisine and delight in the region’s beautiful landscapes.

Photo credit: tiradentesgerais.com.br

To know this small charming place is like going back in time and breathing in history. A tip when here is to forget all things modern, and for example, leave the car in the parking lot and walk around! To experience the simple and at the same time sophisticated air of this mineira city is to walk on the colonial stoned sidewalks. You will see the beauty and riches of churches from the XVIII century, well preserved houses, with two or more levels, restaurants, and bed & breakfasts. You’ll also see antique shops and local artisan shops that light their lamps in the storefront when night falls, lighting up the city.

Tiradentes is surrounded by the beautiful Serra de Sao José and one of the best options for locals and tourists is to go trekking and take jeep tours up to the top, which is over 1,400 meters in height. Full of beautiful panoramic landscapes, the route contains the remains of the ancient sidewalks and paths that were opened by the slaves in the XVIII century to transport gold. The power of this metal gave old Tiradentes one of the most beautiful baroque collections in Minas Gerais, which remained hidden and preserved for a very long time. This incredible cultural wealth has been rediscovered in the last few decades by visitors from all over the world.

The carts are another peculiarity of this charming city. They are parked at the Largo das Forras, giving an air of a small interior city and are an excellent option for circulating around town and getting to know the main attractions, such as the Chafariz de São José fountain that was built with blue soap stone in 1749, the Padre Toledo Museum, the churches Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, Nossa Senhora das Mercês and the Matriz de Santo Antônio, the most beautiful in Tiradentes with works attributed to Aleijadinho. Along this trip, you can see the ateliers that are spread out through Direita and Câmara streets. The artisan’s creativity will get your attention – their work is made from materials that range from wood to tin, and paper maché to iron. The various handcrafts, all in good taste, can also be found in the district of Bichinho, six kilometres from the center of town and full of workshops. Bichinho is the right destination for the tourist interested in the rich and well-made mineiro arts and crafts.

The trip that will take you to São João del Rei is made aboard an American steam locomotive from the beginning of the XX century. It runs a total of 13 kilometres, which takes about half an hour. The Maria-Fumaça only runs on weekends and it is very popular with children. This is almost an obligatory trip in Tiradentes, a route to our country’s past.

Maria-Fumaça

The train – Maria Fumaça was inaugurated by D. Pedro II, in 1881 and it still connects the cities of Tiradentes and São João Del-Rei. It runs regularly on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

http://youtu.be/TL3meaDFuz4

  • Leaving São João del-Rei: 10am and 2pm.
  • Leaving Tiradentes: 1pm and 5pm.

A cultural city

Photo credit: tiradentesgerais.com.br

Tiradentes, this enchanting piece of Minas Gerais, has already been featured in films, television series and telenovelas. Tiradentes has a promising future in tourism with many important events such as the Mostra de Cinema, a nine day festival which takes place in January and shows, for free, over 100 long and short national films. Cultural activities, such as the Cortejo da Arte, fill the sloping streets and public places full of people. Besides this, Tiradentes is the stage for the famous Festival de Gastronomia e Cultura, one of the most well known gastronomic events in the country. The festival, which takes place in August, brings together great chefs from Brazil and abroad and offers samplings of special dishes, wines and champagnes, culinary courses and an intense cultural program with shows and poetry recitals.

Tiradentes is not just merely a historical destiny as it is now becoming a cultural destination too. For over ten years it has been the backdrop for these important events listed above, and has also attracted many partiers during the Carnaval holiday. It hosts a lovely Carnaval which offers the safety of a small town and guaranteed fun with the street groups and their marchinhas. Many young people rent houses for the period and have their own parties, besides just taking part in the free parties through the town.

For those interested in getting to know this little piece of gold in the state of Minas Gerais, check out the city’s official site, tiradentesgerais.com.br, and you will find many touristic options.

But Wave has also made some selections for you!

For those who want to stay for a longer time and who like to feel at home, seasonal rentals would be the best choice. You can find tips on these sites: aluguetemporada.com.br , tiradentes.net/casas-temporada.

But if your intention is just to roam around and take in all the city has to offer, the best thing to do would be to stay in various bed & breakfasts, such as:

  • Pousada 21 de Abril – A new and comfortable B&B, in a peaceful area close to the city center. Phone: (32) 3355-1438 / (32) 8436-2747.
  • Abaporu Pousada – Comfort, personalized service and a central location. Phone: (32) 3355-1213 / (32) 9123-0020.
  • A Casa Bem Viver – An exclusive space, encircled by an environmentally preserved area, 500m from the historical center of Tiradentes. Phone: (32) 3355-1709 / (32) 9107-4264 / (32) 9989-8841.
  • A Casa dos Amigos – Accommodations, leisure and gastronomy, with simplicity and economy. Phone: (32) 9996-9975.

Enjoy Tiradentes!

 

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