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.
Ouro Preto is in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The city, which was founded in the late seventeenth century, is located in the Serra do Espinhaço Mountains. In the eighteenth century, Ouro Preto became the hub of a gold rush. While the gold deposits have long since been exhausted, the town still has a mining industry of some importance. In 1876, the establishment of the Escola de Minas (Minas School) laid the technological base for many of the mineral discoveries that were to follow. From 1822 to 1897, Ouro Preto served as the state capital. But the government's need to expand led to its being shifted out of Ouro Preto to the modern, planned city of Belo Horizonte.