Mariana Things to Do Tips by elsadran
Mariana Things to Do: 15 reviews and 34 photos
Mina da Passagem-going down....!
Very near Ouro Preto is the old mine Mina da Passagem, one of the oldest mines in Brazil.
It opened in 1719 and closed in 1985. For many years it was worked by black slaves, who died in large numbers because of the conditions of work. Later local people started working as miners in the same conditions. Their life was no better than that of the slaves...In the years there has been a large extension to the tunnels reaching now the 15 square kilometers! Tons of gold have been extracted. Finally it had to stop as it was no longer viable. Nowadays it functions only as a museum.
Tourists enter the mine in a trolley-car held by a steel cable. They go down to 120 meters of depth.Then a guide, usually a retired miner, gives information and answers questions. There is a small lake with crystal clear water where swimming and diving is permitted. The visit lasts about half an hour and then tourists can watch the procedure of separating gold from the soil in a flat “pan”, the way miners used to do it in the old times. There is a small museum exhibiting mining tools and gadgets, and a small carriage.
There is old mining machinery and vehicles displayed on the premises.
Near the man who operates the trolley there are some nice stones from the mine with lines of gold and other metals. You can pick one for yourself leaving a small tip.
They say women were not allowed to enter the mine because the prospector was superstitious and believed women bring bad luck....(!)
Entry fee is 24R$.
It is open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 to 17:00. Wednesday
Take a bus going to Ouro Preto and tell the driver to drop you off at the mine.
Address: on the way between Mariana and Ouro Preto
Phone: 31-3557-5000 fax: 31-3557-5001
The old steam trains, once carrying passengers and cargoes of gold, have been perfectly restored and are now given up to tourism . They make their way through the verdant countryside of Minas and it's the best way to move and enjoy nature.
Being part of a touristic project, the trains started functioning again in 2006 and has been a great success.
They run to Ouro Prêto twice a day in peak season and once a day in low season.
Tickets cost 18$ one way and 30R$ for a return trip.
It runs at 9:00 in the morning and 2:00 in the afternoon from Mariana to Ouro Prêto.
From Ouro Prêto it starts at 11:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the evening. It covers the distance of 18 kilometers in 55 minutes.
Don't forget it doesn't go anywhere on Mondays!!
Look at the photos!
Praça de Minas Gerais-twin churches
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo, was a Carmelite church and is similar to its "sister" next to it, São Fransisco de Assis. The magnificent facade by Aleijadinho, the artwork of Ataide and and its unique cylindrical towers make it important. It dates back from 1784. It stands on the Praça de Minas Gerais with the rest of the buildings which give a magnificent sight at night!
Click on photo...
Address: Praça de Minas Gerais
Igreja Sao Francisco de Assis
Igreja São Francisco de Assis was began in 1763 and was decorated by two excellent artists of the time, Aleijadinho and Atayde. It has soapstone pulpits and altars carved by Aleijadinho and wonderful ceiling panels by Atayde. Depicting the life of the saint these paintings are consindered his masterpiece! Entry 2R$ .
Open Tuesdays to Sundays 9:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 17:00.
Click on photo...
Address: Praça De Minas Gerais, Mariana
Museu Arquidiocesano de Arte Sacra
The Archiocesan Museum is housed in the former Casa Capitular (Chapterhouse), an impressive mansion of 1770. It was founded in 1962 and claims to possess the largest collection of sacred art in the state. It includes baroque painting and sculpture in wood and soapstone, furniture and vestments of the 18th and 19th century. Some are works of the most important artists of the time, Aleijandinho and and Mestre Ataide, famous baroque artists in Minas who are responsible for many other masterpieces in the the region.
Open: Tues.-Fri. 8:30-12:00 and 1:30-5:00 . Weekends and holidays 8:30 – 2:00pm
Address: Rua Frei Durão 49, Mariana
Cathedral de Sé
The Basilica de Sé or Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Assunção is the richest and the most important church in the town. It is located on Praça de Sé, one of the principal squares and a touristic point. The church was built in 1711 – 1760. The facade has been sculptured by Aleijadinho, and the famous painting of the Baptism of Christ on the altarpiece by Atayde. The exterior is simple but the baroque exuberance is kept in its interior.
Concerts are held regularly as the church is in possession of an organ made by the famous German master organ builder Arp Schnitger (1648-1719). The organ has intricate chinese decoration and it was given to the church by Don Joao 5th of Portugal in 1751 . It has been restored and functions very well. The organists are Elisa Freixo and Josineia Godinho. You can attend them on Fridays at 11am and Sundays at 12:15am , duration is 45 minutes and tickets are 12R$, 18R$ and 24R$.
Photography is not allowed inside so I photographed the photo of the organ at the entrance of the church.
Entry is 2R$ and 7R$ for the concerts.
Click on photo...
Phone: Telefax (31)3558-2785
with his wife in a giant photo upstairs
Alphonsus de Guimarães was born in Ouro Prêto in 1870 and died in Mariana in 1921. His neo-romantic poetry is mystical, symbolic, with obvious traces of religiousness and deep sorrow... Love and Death are often dealt in his poems. His repeating theme was The Death of The Beloved Woman (Morte de Mulher Amada). They say this is due to the loss of his sweetheart of his youth, Constança,who died and he could never overcome it. Although he got married and he had 15 children they called him “The Loner Of Mariana”-”The Solitario de Mariana”
I can not but mention a detail that shows how culture is treated in Minas..! Local buses have a plasticized sheet of paper with his poems hanging in front of every seat. So the passenger can easily get a glimpse of his spirit.
Open Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-6pm and Sundays 9am-3pm.
Entry is 2R$
Photography is not allowed, so I did my best...
Address: It is very near Cathedral de Se on Rua Direita.
Casa da Camara e Cadeia
Casa da Camara e Cadeia is now the Prefecture, and is a masterpiece of colonial architecture. Work started in 1784 but was not finished until 1836. Black slaves and prisoners were forced to work on its construction. In colonial times it used to house the city counsel, official offices and the jail. The front staircase reflects influence from north Portuguese architecture. Nowadays it also houses an exhibition hall and a mining museum. It is located in the beautiful Praça de Minas Gerais together with the wonderful twin churches.
Address: Praça de Minas Gerais
Igreja de Sao Pedro dos Clerigos
This magnificent church is really imposing, because of its baroque style and its size. Its construction started in 1752 and has never been finished. It was designed by Antonio Ferreira Calheiros. Seen from above you can see two large ellipses. You can go up on the second floor to enjoy a better view and you can even scramble up to the top.
It has a dominant location on the top of Sao Pedro hill at the end of Rua Dom Silveiro and you get wonderful views of the whole city and the surrounding countryside from its courtyard!
Entry fee is 2R$
There are more photos!
Address: on the top of Sao Pedro hill
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