Mariana and its treasures

by • 10 de julho de 2012 • BRAZIL, EXPERIENCE, ITINERARIES, MARIANA, MINAS GERAIS, OURO PRETO, videoComments (2)5488

Leia em Português

Mariana was the most important city in the Gold Cycle – founded in 1696, is full of slopes and houses from the Colonial Period. It is part of the sightseeing tour like Circuito do Ouro, Circuito da Estrada Real and Trilha dos Inconfidentes. You can see it all in half a day.
View from the tower

View from the tower

Once you arrive in the city, grab a map in the Tourist Information Center. Check out what I visited:

View from the tower

View from the tower

RUA DA DIREITA has the main colonial houses, churches and museums.

IGREJA DE SÃO PEDRO DOS CLÉRIGOS is the best place to visit, and a great walk. Go up the tower to see the city from the top.

Igreja de São Pedro dos Clérigos

Igreja de São Pedro dos Clérigos

CATEDRAL DA SÉ was the first cathedral in Minas and has a famous organ inside.

Praça Minas Gerais

Praça Minas Gerais

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

PRAÇA MINAS GERAIS is the main tourist point, surrounded by 3 famous buildings: SANTUÁRIO DE N. SRA. DO CARMO, IGREJA SÃO FRANCISCO DE ASSIS and the ANTIGA CASA DE CÂMARA E CADEIA – the only one I visited, it is a museum with free admission.

Casa de Câmara

Casa de Câmara

.I went there on a Monday, when all museums are closed. No problem, I am much more interested in the architecture and walking around wondering how it was like to live in the old days than seeing sacred and Baroque art. The ones who enjoy art should choose another day to visit Mariana.

My favorite tour was MINA DA PASSAGEM, the biggest gold mine in the world opened for visitation. The underground galleries can reach 315m long and 120 deep, and you go down on a trolley. There is no more gold there, but since its foundation in the early 18th century, about 35 tons of gold were removed. What remains now are a few tools, the humidity and a crystal clear lake used for professional diving.

Underground lake

Underground lake

Coming back up

Coming back up

Waiting for the trolley to go back to the surface was nothing pleasant, it took too long because there was no one else to go down. The scariest part was sitting on the first row, where there is no protection and I had to hold onto the side bars. I kept looking down and had the feeling I would fly off any moment. Everything was fine, a little adventure is good. After all, this travel was too peaceful.

Inside the mine

Inside the mine

TAKE NOTE

How to get there: leaving Ouro Preto, take the steam train or the ordinary bus. The same to go back. There is a steam train/day and a bus every hour. I missed the train and took the bus, but it seems that the best option is to go by train and go back by bus..How to get to Mina da Passagem: It is between Ouro Preto and Mariana, on the way back from Mariana I asked the bus fare collector where to get off, it was pretty easy. When you have finished your tour, go back to where you got off the bus and wait for the next one with Ouro Preto on it.

Translated by Lúcia Maciel
English teacher
Contact: luciamaciel@territorios.com.br

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