Jan 11, 2009
When Brazil was still a colony of the Portuguese crown, Ouro Preto was one of the country’s richest towns. As its name – black gold, in English – suggests, much gold and gems were found here back in the 18th century. The town’s fascinating history is on view at the newly-renovated Museu da Inconfidência, founded in 1944. The city, which once upon a time was the state capital, has been granted the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.
Ouro Preto also staged one of the most important episodes in the history of Brazil: the Minas Gerais Conspiracy, which took place in 1789. Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (a.k.a. Tiradentes) led a group of revolutionaries in a fight for the independence from Portugal.
The grand old mansions of Ouro Preto, mostly built during colonial times, have been converted into museums, pousadas (inns) and restaurants.
Solar do Carmo
Rua Brigadeiro Musqueiro, 66, Centro Histórico
Tel: (55-31) 3552-2804
With only four rooms, the Solar do Carmo feels like a friend’s house rather than a hotel. Owner Marcia Osório hand-picked the contemporary paintings and furniture sprinkled throughout.
Solar do Rosário
Rua Getúlio Vargas, 270 (Largo do Rosário)
Pousada do Mondego
Largo de Coimbra, 38
Pousada Minas Gerais
Rua Xavier da Veiga, 303
Estalagem das Minas Gerais
Rodovia dos Inconfidentes, km 87 (road to Belo Horizonte), 8 km
Pousada do Arcanjo
Rua S. Miguel Arcanjo, 270 (Água Limpa), 1 km (road to Belo Horizonte)
Photos: Ministério do Turismo