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Mariana Overview

The small colonial town of Mariana makes a great day trip from Ouro Preto, especially since it is only a 30-minute ride away. The town has a beautifully preserved historic center that has cobble-stoned streets lined with art nouveau wrought iron balconies and fine examples of early 18th century architecture. Because of the small area and close proximity of the highlights, the town can be easily toured in a few hours.

The main highlights of Mariana are centrally located in the historic district in the center of the town. Located in the Minas Gerais Square is the St. Francis of Assisi and Our lady Carmel Church. If you visit the church on a Friday or Sunday, you can catch the organ concert in the cathedral and be transposed by the inspiring music. Mariana also has the best collection of sacred art in Brazil, which is housed in the Museu de Arte Sacra, a colonial mansion set behind the cathedral.

Mariana was a mining town that was established in 1696. For a brief time it served as the capital of Minas Gerais state and was known as Our Lady Carmel. Like many of the neighboring mining towns, Mariana was transformed by the mineral wealth that came and was turned into a colonial gem filled with beautiful 18th century architecture. In 1765 it was named Mariana in honor of Queen Maria Ana. Today the mining camps are still in full operation on the outskirts of the city.

Mariana is a 30-minute bus ride from Ouro Preto. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm. For information how to get to Ouro Preto, Belo Horizonte, or any of the mining towns in Minas Gerais, please consult the transportation section on the Belo Horizonte page.

Mariana has several hotels close to the historic center, such as Pousado Solar dos Correa, which is located on the road leading to the main square. Also near the square is the Pousada Chacara, which offers 15 apartments with balconies.

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