The treasure of Minas Gerais.
By Viviane Rosa
The writer and Brazilian novelist Guimarães Rosa states, “Minas are many, however, few are those who know the thousand faces of Gerais”. One of these faces is Ouro Preto, a source of pride for the locals.
Located 90 km from Belo Horizonte, the beautiful Ouro Preto landscape can be seen between the mountains. The former capital of the Province of Minas Gerais, the city became famous for the gold rush in the past and has a rich historical heritage in Brazil. In 1980, the city received the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Visitors to Ouro Preto understand why the city received this title. The baroque architecture is found on almost every corner, on the houses, on public buildings and churches. Another strong point is the number of museums in the city such as the museum of the great sculptor, Aleijadinho, one of the most visited tourist spots. There are so many curiosities about the city, which makes it a never ending fountain of culture and historical knowledge.
Besides architectural beauty and historical importance, this municipality offers vast natural beauty and a rich and varied ecosystem in the surrounding area. Crystal clear waterfalls, secular trails, beautiful valleys, splendid lookouts, infinite springs and a large area of native forest that, luckily, is protected by the State parks. A lost paradise, amid so many historical riches and legends of the golden era.
Ouro Preto is also the city of happiness and hosts many popular parties and cultural activities. Every year they host the Ouro Preto and Mariana Winter Festival and the regional Arts Forum. In addition, Ouro Preto is one of the most sought after places during carnival.
Since 2005, the Mayor’s office has organized a huge party for carnival revellers. The Ouro Preto Carnaval is among one of the largest in the country and every year they have a good structure set up to receive the revellers, with many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. As the carnival in Ouro Preto is sought after by tourists from all over the country and even abroad, it is necessary to reserve well in advance.
Without a doubt, there are many reasons to get to know this curious and enchanting city, but if you still need more reasons, the food in the region is incomparable! Those who visit Ouro Preto will find hospitable and welcoming locals. Finally, there is much to see, do and savor, all this with refinement and charm in a city that breathes the “mineiro” way of life.