Highlights and main attractions of Ouro Preto
The wealthiest, most excellently preserved and grandest of all the gold towns in the Minas Gerais region, Ouro Preto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of charming 18th Century buildings, churches, cobbled streets and plazas that makes it one of the true colonial highlights that Brazil has to offer.
The town is situated 513 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro, with a population of over 70,000 and an area of about 1,245 square kilometres. Praca Tiradentes is the main square from which all roads diverge, and where many of the most important buildings are found, such as a statue of Tiradentes, the leader of the Inconfidentes movement, as well as the Escola de Minas (Mining School) which is based in the Palacio de Governadores, the most imposing building of the square.
Meaning ‘black gold’, the town was named so after the gold rush that defined it as a key centre of the gold trade, where this precious element was bought and sold.