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Ouro Preto

A little bit of history

At the time of colonization of the interior of Brazil, a village with the name of Villa Rica was born in the mountains of Minas. It was baptized as Vila Rica de Albuquerque, because of the Captain General Antonio de Albuquerque Coelho Carvalho, then governor of the captaincy of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. It was D. John V who ordered that the "Albuquerque" name be dropped and then the adopted name of "Vila Rica de Nossa Senhora do Pilar, to honor the “city´s patron” – Nossa Senhora do Pilar!

The name of Ouro Preto (or Black Gold) was adopted on May 20, 1823, when the old Villa Rica became a city. "Black Gold" comes from the dark gold, covered with a layer of iron oxide, found in the region.

Ouro Preto was the capital of the state of Minas Gerais until 1897, when the capital moved to the newly built Belo Horizonte. The city is now unquestionably the epitome of colonial art mining, not only the expression of its history but for the exceptional preserved cultural collection.

For its value, Ouro Preto won the title of "City National Monument in 1933”. Eyes and recognition of the world would come in 1980, when UNESCO declared the "Cultural Heritage of Humanity."

Churches, museums, old houses, bars, restaurants and, especially, the hospitality of its people, altogether make Ouro Preto city wonderfully.

Learn more about Ouro Preto, its history and its cultural offerings and leisure accessing the sites:

Tourism and leisure


Matriz N. Sra. do Pilar
N. Sra. do Carmo
N. Sra. do Rosário
São Francisco de Assis
Matriz N. Sra. da Conceição
São Francisco de Paula
N. Sra. das Mercês e Perdões (Mercês de Baixo)
Santa Efigênia ou de N.Sra. do Rosário do Alto da Cruz
N.Sra. das Mercês e Misericórdia (Mercês de Cima)
São José
Bom Jesus de Matozinhos ou São Miguel e Almas
Capela São João Batista
Capela N. Sra. do Rosário dos Brancos ou do Padre Faria
Capela N. Sra. das Dores
Capela de Santana
Capela de São Sebastião
Capela de Bom Jesus das Flores (Taquaral)

Houses and Architecture

Casa de Tomás Antônio Gonzaga
Casa de Cláudio Manuel da Costa
Estação Ferroviária
Casa dos Inconfidentes
Fundação de Arte de Ouro Preto (FAOP)
Largo do Rosário
Casa da Câmara


Escola de Minas
Museu da Inconfidência
Casa dos Contos
Ludo Museu
Museu do Oratório
Casa Guignard
Escola de Farmácia
Museu do Pilar
Museu Aleijadinho


They are small chapels built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They are used during Holy Week, when they are open to revive the steps of the Passion of Christ. The ceremony is accompanied by prayers and hymns. Ouro Preto has many steps, we will highlight a few.

Capela Senhor do Bonfim
Passo da Coroação
Passo Ponte Seca
Passo da Flagelação
Passo do Pretório (ou Antônio Dias)


The shrines are testimonies of the colonial faith and mysticism. Corners and intersections awaken the human imagination. Places with paths that cross, interwoven destinations, energy channeled... They were the preferred places of shrines, which were intended to protect the population against bad omens. Prayers in the middle of smoking candles, lanterns and lamps. In addition see the Oratory Museum at

Bom Despacho
Santa Cruz


Not only gold mines, but also water. Ouro Preto is a land of many springs. Rivers, streams and beautiful bridges, roads over the water. Architecture and romanticism. The space would not be sufficient to enumerate all. We will highlight a few.

Ponte Antônio Dias
Ponte dos Contos
Ponte Seca
Ponte do Pilar


They played essential and strategic role in ancient and populous Vila Rica. The numerous springs spread fountains throughout the city, lending in many cases the status of true "art." The more refined decoration, the greater the importance of the community it serves. Constructed between 1753 and 1846.

Chafariz dos Contos
Chafariz Marília de Dirceu
Chafariz da Glória
Chafariz do Museu da Inconfidência
Chafariz do Pilar
Chafariz do Rosário
Chafariz Alto das Cabeças
Chafariz Alto da Cruz ou Padre Faria
Chafariz da Rua Barão
Chafariz do Antônio Dias
Chafariz da Praça Frei Vicente Bicalho


Morro São Sebastião
Adro Igreja São Francisco de Paula
Adro Igreja São Francisco de Assis
Parque Horto dos Contos
Avenida Vitorino Dias

Ecological Tours

Pico do Itacolomi
Parque Horto dos Contos
Estação Ecológica Tripuí
Parque Municipal da Cachoeira das Andorinhas


Casa da Ópera (Teatro Municipal)
Parque Estad. do Itacolomi
Parque Arq. Morro da Queimada
Mina Chico Rei (ou Encardideira)
Mina Fonte Meu Bem Querer
Mina Velha
Mina da Passagem
Maria Fumaça
Casa de Aleijadinho
Coluna Saldanha Marinho


Ouro Preto fulfills itself in its flavors. The senses get together and strengthen their potential. The surrounding baroque style, the legend, the beautiful sights, the hardness of gold and gems ... these are all ingredients that refine the taste in a city where excellent options abound. Authentic local food (tutu, chicken with okra, beans, homemade candy ...) and the Italian and French cuisine are well represented.


Tropical lowland wet, highlands with rain during the months from December to March, rare frost in June and July.

Temperature: * Annual average: 17.4°C
* Average Maximum: 22.6°C
* Average Low: 13.1°C

© Copyright 2010 BrazMedChem Organizing Committee