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Tiradentes Overview

A colorful festival occuring on the white-washed streets of Tiradentes, Brazil This small historic town is a lovely baroque gem set on the hillside of the Sao Jose Mountain Range. Besides the natural beauty of the nearby mountains, waterfalls, and beautiful views of the city, the architecture that has been preserved for two centuries reveals the legacy left behind by the 18th century gold rush. The town is no longer a major economic center as it was in its heyday, but now serves as a peaceful retreat for Brazilian artists and craftsmen.

Tiradantes, and Ouro Preto, are the two gems in this region that should not be missed.

Highlights
Wander down one of the cobble stoned streets to find colonial mansions, facades, fountains, and churches. The most important church is the Igreja Matriz de Sango Antonio. The interior alone is a sight to behold, with half a ton of gold used to decorate its elegant altars and gilded flower garlands. Also check out the Chafariz de Sao Jose, a blue soapstone fountain at the foot of the Sao Jose Mountains. Built in 1749, the fountain features three faces representing love, fortune, and health and spouts water from the Mae d'Aqua woods. For a map of the tourist attractions visit the site below.
Further Travel Information

Handicrafts by local craftsman and artisans can be bought in the district of Bichinho about 4 miles from downtown and where most of art studios are located. Also try and catch the Maria Fumaca steam locomotive, which takes you on an amazing journey through the Atlantic rainforest in the Sao Jose Mountains, past the river Mortes and finally to Sao Joao del Rei.

History
Formerly known as Sao Jose, the town was named after its hero Tiradentes, the martyr of the Inconfidencia Mineira, which was the republican liberation movement that was repressed by the Portuguese. After the mining boom the sleepy town of 5,000 inhabitants was nearly forgotten. It wasn't rediscovered until the 1970's when locals and investors from Rio worked together in restoring many of the beautiful old houses and mansions.

Getting There
By air the closest airport is Confins in Belo Horizonte, which is 134 miles away. By car or bus it is a 35-mile drive from Belo Horizonte, a 3-hour drive from Rio, and a 4-hour drive from Sao Paulo.

Lodging
There are many lodging options, mostly in colonial houses. Comfortable, spacious rooms are available at the Pousada dos Inconfidentes (www.pousadadosinconfidentes.com.br), a colonial style inn with cozy fireplaces and balconies. The Villa Paolucci Farm Hotel (www.villapaolucci.com.br) is a 200-year old estate that offers spacious and comfortable rooms decorated in the traditional colonial style.

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