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OURO  PRETO  -  BRAZIL


The historical city of Ouro Preto is located some 96 kilometers from Belo Horizonte and is the largest and most homogeneous Portuguese colonial style settlement in the world.
 

Founded at the end of the 17th century as “Vila Rica do Ouro Preto” (Black Gold) the city went through a time of riches and power for many years but with the exhaustion of the gold mines in the 19th century, the city's influence declined. Fortunately many churches, bridges and fountains remain as a testimony to its past prosperity and the exceptional talent of the Baroque sculptor Aleijadinho.

 

The town is still full of architectural highlights from the Gold Rush days and has little signs of modern urban life. Since Ouro Preto is considered one of the two best-preserved colonial towns of the nation, you cannot afford to miss it. The many churches, decorated with gold, the works of Aleijadinho, wealthy mansions and the cobblestone streets make the town a must-see.

 

Due to its history and preservation efforts Ouro Preto was the first Brazilian town to be declared a world's heritage by UNESCO.

   

In 1789, Vila Rica was the starting point of the Inconfidência Mineira, a failed attempt to break from Portugal and to form a Brazilian republic. Ouro Preto was the capital of the state of Minas Gerais from 1822 until 1897, when the government moved to the new and planned city of Belo Horizonte.


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