"An astonishing city!" Top 5 Page for this destination Ouro Prêto by elsadran

Ouro Prêto Travel Guide: 136 reviews and 396 photos

Ouro Prêto has escaped any signs of ugly urbanisation. Its buildings and cobblestone streets have been kept in their original form. It is one of the most impressive cities I have seen in Brazil – and I have seen a lot. Walking in the streets can easily leave you with the mouth open while admiring the most dramatic and well preserved architecture of the area.
Ouro Prêto was the main nexus of the gold and silver rush. Its rich colonial history is presented in its museums, architecture, cultural events and it was deservedly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Landmark.

Built on the slopes of several hills it presents a magical picture when viewed from the tops.
Founded at the end of 17th century it became a city in 1711, named Vila Rica, and the capital of Minas Gerais from 1822 until 1897. It was named “Imperial City of Ouro Preto” in 1823 because the gold extracted had a blackish cover of iron acid. It also played a major role in the meetings of the revolutionary “Inconfidencia Mineira”. It is now a main tourist destination and a university town with the School of Mineralogy being one of its most important schools.

Recently it was used for the signing of the economic treaty among the South American countries, known as Mercosul/Mercosur in December 1994.
Nowadays its economy is based on tourism but there are also some metallurgic and mining industries as its mineral riches are still of great value. The Imperial Topaz is only found here.
Among the mines of the area, Mina da Passagem is specially arranged to accept visitors.
Last but not least, a romantic trip on Maria Fumaca is not to be missed!

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  • Last visit to Ouro Prêto: Feb 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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