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A fabulous and lovely 18th-century town village deeply stuck in the valleys of Minas Gerais‘ mountains. Anachronistic, amazing, fascinating… Ouro Preto resurges as a vision, a mirage amidst the dense mist of dawn. The impression for first-time visitors is exciting.

All of a sudden, it seems as if a journey back in time is a reality. A pilgrimage of the living mixing up with a pilgrimage of the dead. Historical and anonymous personages spreading fallacies and mixing themselves shoulder to shoulder to the contemporaries.

Ouro Preto is above goodness and evil. Those who won’t be able to realize this will not enjoy this town accordingly. It is extremely humane, therefore courageous and cruel. Cruelty has been written in the darkened walls burned by whale oil of the old gold mines.

Slaves were forced to enter in small openings and stay there all day long, breathing smoke from the torches, smelling sweat from exhausted bodies and the suffocating odor exhaling from urine and excrements. Courage, by its turn, rests radiating in the Hall of Freedom inside the town’s main museum, where the remains of those patriots who once dreamed Independence of Minas Gerais and, at large, of Brazil rest in solemnity.

Ouro Preto is no place for good-or-bad dualism. We just have to send ourselves back to a time when there were no laws, a chaotic soup-like mixture of diverse interests that took its own shape and gave birth to the first society bearing modern characteristics in Brazil.

As the country was born at some point on the maritime coast, its conception as a nation actually took place in Minas Gerais. Vila Rica was the Alma Mater and the new-born nation was nurtured in Gold.

Map of Ouro Preto

Due to its outstanding value, Ouro Preto was decreed a National Historic Monument in 1933 by the brazilian federal government. World eyes and recognition would come later in 1980, when UNESCO declared this 18th-century old colonial town village as a Cultural Heritage of Mankind. Ouro Preto legacy well exceeds its borders, and its essence is the proper essence of mankind.

Ouro Preto is 98 km from Belo Horizonte.

Ouro Preto travel Guide and tourism information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in Minas Gerais, Brazil – Brazil Travel Guide

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