Ouro Prêto may be a small city, but its places of interest will take you back in time where it used to be the heart of Brazil’s wealth and prosperity. Below are some of the attractions you should not miss when visiting the city:
Ouro Prêto has a number of museums manifesting its (literally) rich history. Among these is the Museu da Inconfidência. Dedicated to the Inconfidência Mineira’s memory – a revolution against the Portuguese in 1789 – the museum showcases some remains of the revolutionaries along with archives and libraries. Works by artists famous on that period, such as Manuel da Costa Ataíde and Aleijadinho are also displayed in the building. Entrance fee costs R$2.
The Museu de Mineralogia is another museum to look forward to in the city. A mineralogy museum, it has a wide collection of minerals ranging from quartz to uranium to diamond. Prepare R$2 for entrance.
Showcasing some of the rare works of the city’s famous architect, Aleijadinho or the “Little Cripple”, the Museu Aleijadinho features the Saint Francis of Paola’s life-like bust. The entrance costs R$3 but students are given a half price privilege.
Exciting might it be to jump right away to Ouro Prêto’s history, it is important to note that taking pictures and videos inside museums is prohibited.
Once known for having a vast number of gold, visiting one of Ouro Prêto’s mine sites should be on your to-do list. Included here is the Mina Chico Rei which one of the most-visited gold mines; the Mina da Passagem or the Mine of the Crossing, which is the largest mine in the world that is open to the public; the Mina Fonte Meu Bem Querer which has tunnel walls that have petrified trees; and the Mina Velha which is the town’s oldest mine inaugurated in 1704.
Most, if not all, of the city mines, have entrance fee ranging from R$10-R$17. The trip to the site is best with a group of friends.
Other than its churches and museums, the city has other attractions that would interest its tourists. Among these are the Itacolomi State Park, which has a wide range of flora and fauna, it also offers hiking opportunities to enthusiasts; the Praça Tiradentes which is the city’s heart; and the Teatro Municipal that’s South America’s oldest functioning theater opened in 1770.
Because of Ouro Prêto’s size, exploring these attractions along with a few more that you would discover once there, would not be a problem at all. Most of the sites can even be reached on foot.