History of Ouro Preto

A city of the state of Minas Gerais, Ouro Prêto has a history that would explain its importance in the country of Brazil and the reason why it had been considered the cream of the crop among the many colonial towns in the state.

Founded on the later part of the 17th Century, Ouro Prêto, which means Black Gold in English, was the heart of the country’s golden age during the 18th Century. The city had its name when nuggets of gold covered in Iron Oxid (a black compound) were found in Tripui, a river that is adjacent to it. This discovery has then marked a great interest in the place.

With its huge quantity of gold, the city became a powerhouse – a force to reckon in the international community.  Many historians believe that at that time, the city is larger than its size, probably more important than New York today and Brazil’s single richest city on its heyday.

Unfortunately, when all the gold mines were exhausted in the 19th Century, Ouro Prêto’s power and wealth went with it. Yet despite the devastating blow from its fall, many of its architecture still remained to testify of the city’s once prosperity; a legacy left for its future generations.