Welcome to Ouro Preto and Mariana!
"Finally will be sung Villa Rica, your name stays on the memories ..."
Cláudio Manuel da Costa
Ouro Preto, which means ‘Black Gold', is a marvellously preserved historic city in the Brazilian highlands, renowned throughout the country for its art and colonial architecture. Once a gold mining town, Ouro Preto is today a World Heritage Site, fascinating to explore for its magnificent Baroque architecture, museums, quaint Ouro Preto hotels, historic churches and scenic views. It's also an active university town which has nurtured several Brazilian artists. The city is divided into twelve districts, namely Amarantina, Antônio Pereira, Cachoeira do Campo, Engenheiro Correia, Glaura, Lavras Novas, Miguel Burnier, Rodrigo Silvia, Santa Rita, Santo Antônio do Leite, Santo Antônio do Salto and São Bartolomeu. With its rich architectural heritage and beautiful surroundings, Ouro Preto is an extremely popular tourist destination in Brazil.
Historically, this was where the first Brazilian mutiny against Portugal's colonial rule began. Tiradentes, Brazil's cultural hero, led this first rebellion in 1789 when he realized the extent to which the region's gold mines were being exploited and shipped back to Portugal by the colonists. The revolt was a failure; Tiradentes was tried and executed in a particularly barbaric manner, with his dismembered body parts strewn on the road from Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro as a warning to his followers. His head was displayed in the town centre, in the square now known as Praça Tiradentes.
In modern times, Ouro Preto has evolved into an extremely popular tourist destination. Its primary attraction is its centuries-old architectural heritage, wonderfully preserved for posterity. The old city centre still exists around Praça Tiradentes; most of its museums, shops, Ouro Preto hotels and restaurants are clustered around this area. You can use our Ouro Preto map to choose your hotel in Ouro Preto based on its location.
In the foothills of the Serra do Espinhaço Mountains, the centre of this old colonial city is the largest and most elevated among all the historical towns of Minas Gerais. The streets of the upper and lower towns are typically narrow and winding and seemingly tangled; in some places vehicles simply cannot negotiate the steep and rough surfaces. While negotiating these precipitous, cobblestone streets can be quite arduous, you'll be rewarded at the end by the fabulous view of 23 churches spread across the hills around.
On top of the list of things to see and do in Ouro Preto are the remarkable historical museums of Museu da Inconfidência and Casa dos Contos. There's also the museum of mineralogy in the Escola de Minas. Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Carmo is one of the eighteenth-century churches decorated with gold, located in the main square. The Igreja de São Francisco de Assis is built in the rococo style. Many of the churches here have striking sculptures and murals by the famed local artists Aleijadinho and Manuel da Costa Ataíde. During colonial rule, Ouro Preto developed its own characteristic style of Baroque decoration, known as Barroco Mineiro, thanks to artists like Mestre Athayde, Aleijadinho and the Lobo de Mesquita family.
You can visit several of the mines that are an intrinsic part of Ouro Preto's history, including Mina da Passagem, (the largest mine in the world open to public viewing), Mina do Chico Rei in the town centre and Mina Velha, Ouro Preto's oldest mine. Apart from looking around the museums, mine-hopping, and taking an Ouro Preto tour, take time out to simply stand at the lookout point and revel in the beautiful view. If time permits, you can also visit the waterfalls nearby or make a trip to other colonial mining cities like Mariana, Tiradentes and Diamantina.
We are a locally based company who know all there is to know about Ouro Preto. Choose from our wide range of personally recommended hotels and pousadas in Ouro Preto, as well as our eco-friendly tours in Ouro Preto and let us help you plan your perfect Ouro Preto holiday!
Brumas Hostel is ideal for travellers and groups searching for affordable accommodation with plenty of space to interact, wireless internet and a great view of Ouro Preto. It is located just by the bus station.[more info]
The Pousada Casa Dona Denis offers you a homey atmosphere just by Ouro Preto's bus station. You will also be accommodated in a Bed and Breakfast within a 10-minute walking distance from the historical centre.[more info]
At Pousada Inconfidencia Mineira you will enjoy a panoramic landscape view and take advantage of a quiet neighbourhood located right in the mountains of Ouro Preto. If you stay in the Luxury room you will also have a whirlpool bath to relax in.[more info]
Hotel Pousada do Arcanjo is a theme hotel where people wearing 18th-century costumes will receive you. Very close to Ouro Preto's historical centre, this charming hotel offers you comfort, quiet and elegance.[more info]
This 19th-century building of Hotel Solar do Rosário has been recently refurbished to offer you comfort, sophistication and refinement during your stay at Ouro Preto. Hotel Solar do Rosário is located in a very nice area, in front of Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church.[more info]
The Pousada Solar das Lajes is an ideal place for those who are looking for comfort and relaxation. Moreover, it is located in the historical center of Ouro Preto and walk distance to most visited places. The Pousada is located in a very warm and inviting place, is really pleasant surprise in the middle of town.
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Located in the Circuito do Ouro (Gold Circuit )and one of the routes of the Estrada Real, we find the Santuário do Caraça located in the Serra do Espinhaço in Catas Altas. The place is one of the most important and most visited protected areas of Minas Gerais. The Private Heritage Reserve of Serra do Caraça responds by nearly 51% of Private Reserves of the State. History, culture and beautiful nature around one of the most visited shrines of the country.[more info]
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In the beautiful region of the Inconfidentes, we find Mariana, the first village, the first capital and seat of the Bishopric of the state. Streets and squares straight rectangular reveal the uniqueness of this historic city that received an urban project by becoming a pioneer in the planned city of Minas Gerais and one of the first in Brazil.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
Museums, sanctuary, ancient churches, gold and lots of history are present in this script walk to the historic mining towns. Travel to the region of the ore takes us years ago, a walk through the winding cobbled streets are perfect for remembering episodes of the past. Visits are made by Congonhas, Sao Joao del Rei and Tiradentes and the golden age of our country in the period 1700 to 1800. History, culture and arts are in each piece of our ways.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
The centre of contemporary art, INHOTIMI (CACI) is located in the municipality of Brumadinho, characterized by providing a wide range of works of art outdoor exposed between amazing gardens and in temporary and permanent galleries. The art collection shelters more than 500 works by artists of national and international reputation, such as Adriana Varejao, Helio Oiticica, Meireles, Chris Burden, Matthew Barney, Doug Aitken, Janet Cardiff, among others.[more info]
Welcome to Ouro Preto!
Olá! Hello from Alexandre Aldenes and his team at Esse Trem Turismo...your local connection in Ouro Preto! Our home has everything from historic Baroque architecture to fascinating gold mines that are open for tours and we are based right here in Ouro Preto to assist in the planning of your trip or offer support once you arrive. Don't hesitate to drop us a line if we can be of help and we look forward to meeting you in this amazing Brazilian destination![more]
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Mrs Flavia M. - Brazil