The Estrada Real was also called the gold route.
That was the route the portugese took when they had to transport the gold and other precious stones to the coast so they could be transported to Europe.
They ended up in what is today Rio De Janeiro or Paraty.
The route is still thee and marked with little signs that you are likely to come across if you travel around Minas Gerais.
You will often see a sign saying "republica" on houses in Ouro Preto.
These places are student houses where students live together and often party hard.
These places are often quite anarchistic and many wild ideas and wild plans for Brazils future has started in these places.
They are there cause Ouro Preto is a big student town and therefor also a very young town and i think the republicas is one of the coolest things about Ouro Preto.
At the end of the 18th century some exceptional personalities of the local community, full of passion for freedom and love for their country and inspired by the flame of the French Revolution in 1789, decided to start their own rebellion and created the "Inconfidencia Mineira" against the Portuguese. One of them was "Tiradentes", a national hero.
They planned to make up a new government and then demand their independence from the Portuguese who ruled their country and took all the riches while the people were starving. They would all fight for their cause and would establish a republic freed from the exploitation of the empire... They were finally betrayed by one of them and were thrown to prison. Some of them were sentenced to death but were not executed. Only Tiradentes was cruelly decapitated and cut to pieces....!!! His pieces were exposed around the region to intimidate his future imitators.
It was 21 of April 1792.
I just returned from Brazil. One of the places I visited was Ouro Preto. Before I went to Ouro Preto, I arranged a tour with a private guide. His name was Pedro Paulo. Pedro was an excellent guide. His knowledge of the history of Ouro Preto and Minas Gerais was excellent. I had done a good deal of reading before i arrived in Brazil, so I know his information was accurate. His knowledge of gemstones and all other major industries in Minas Gerais was great. His english was near perfect. He lived in the US for several years. The price he charged me was very reasonable. I also arranged transfers to and from Confins airport with him. Again his price was very reasonable, about a third of the cost that was quoted to me by a US based travel company. He is directly located in Ouro Preto. If you want to use his services contact him directly. I always pays to cut out the middle men. Below is his information for anyone looking to use his services.
Pedro Paulo Pinto
Ouro Preto Travel
Al. Eponina Ruas, 99
Ouro Preto MG Brazil
Antonio Francisco Lisboa (1730 - 1814), known as Aleijadinho (Portuguese for 'Little Cripple), is Brazil's greatest baroque artist - architect, painter and sculptor - before modern times. He was born in Ouro Preto, the son of the Portuguese craftsman Manuel Francisco Lisboa and a black slave Isabel.
Growing up around the tools, artists, and architectural circles of the day, antonio also studied religion, music and Latin, all of which would find their way into his works. His racial mix excluded him not only from certain social circles but also from official recognition as a master architect and sculptor.
Around the age of 40, Aleijadinho began to suffer from a debilitating, crippling disease which grew progressively worse. He eventually lost his fingers and toes, and the use of his lower legs. Despite his physical disabilities, he was a prolific artist who created Brazil's best baroque art, known as 'Barroco Mineiro' - a distincitve art form that developed in Minas Gerais in the 18th century. This incredibly talented self-taught artist incorporated the European Baroque and Rococo traditions into his own work, with hints of the classic and gothic, and he used only native materials, like soapstone and wood.
His masterpieces are Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis (built in 1766) in Ouro Preto, Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis (1774) in Sao Joao del Rei and the majestic statues of the Twelve Prophets (1800 - 1805), which are symmetrically arranged on the steps and terraces leading up to the Basilica do Bom Jesus do Matozinho in Congonhas.
Fondest memory: Myth or Reality?
Because of the mysterious lack of documentation showing his participation in the works of the day and strange alterations in his birth and death records, some believe he never existed (or was nothing more than an assistant his entire life) and that a hundreds of works attributed to Aleijadinho were in fact produced by various talented artists. These disbelievers also find it incredible that a man inflicted with such a crippling disease could have been responsible for so many works attributed to him.
It´s amazing to walk at the narrow streets, specialy at winter´s nights ot July ( a lot of fog), its mysterious, leaves you to 18 siecle, and you can imagine this glorious and rich past of GOLD BLACK.
Fondest memory: BRAZIL IS NOT JUST BEACHES !
We have past and a rich cultural heritage called: Ouro Preto / Black Gold
This charming historical and barroque city, Pilar Church covered with tons of gold !
You shoul go there to see!
emty your memocard or stuff your pockets full with Filmrolls..bring from home or buy in Rio, Sao Paulo or Belo Horizonte then let the camera do her thing!
Fondest memory: in those day I lived and worked in Brazil and travelling was my great passion already..and at times a real adventure.
not so many people had cars, the busses where always packed, but we did not mind....Tourism in Ouro Preto had not yet reached the frenzy of these days, though many Brasilians and South Americans started to travel in their own country. we connected very well and made great friends.
of Minas Gerais showing the wonderful old Towns of Diamantina, Ouro Preto, Sabara, Mariana and if you like I made a page about Minas Gerais.
Fondest memory: walking the trail , not all of it I must admit..but it felt special
Ouro Preto is a place to wander and explore. It is very hilly, so you have to be reasonably fit to walk the steep streets. If you are not, it is easy and inexpensive enough to rent a taxi.
Fondest memory: The history and the visual beauty of this place is something that I hope I will see again.
Favorite thing: Another reason to spent more tha 2 days, is the reach cultural, the popular and religious events that take place all the year. And of cource the mines. Find a local and take a tour to the underground!
Fondest memory: The Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco de Assis da Penitêcia (1771–94) was designed by Aleijadino, who also sculpted the medallion on its façade. The church is among his finest architectural achievements.
for all the walking around town, bring your best walkingshoes, it could be marathon.
once you caught the bug, wanting to see everything...and there is a lot to see, visit the churches, archives and museums during the hotter daytime..*
Ouro Preto has 11 historical churches and 8 museums,its people is hospitable,comunicative and proud.
In its soul,the city guards the symbols of creative and liberty,and it's also famous for its romantic atmosphere.
These reasons and more,the city proudly bears the " CULTURAL PATRIMONY OF ALL MANKIND ",title bestowed on it by UNESCO!
In Ouro Preto,you'll learn about the history of civilization.
Walking around the streets of this city is an adventure full of discovery.
The colonial ear gold mines are open for visitation,as well as many art galleries and the oldest Opera House in South America.
Favorite thing: The beauty of nature and the local architecture are simple things that you will enjoy if you spend some time in Ouro Preto.