Before diving into Ouro Preto´s history, the traveller must be aware that filming or taking picture inside museums and churches is not allowed.
Ouro Preto, meaning "black gold" had its heyday in the early 18th century, and was the capital of Minas Gerais until 1897. Its churches are notable not just for their architecture but also for the carved sculptures of Aleijadinho, one of Brazil's most celebrated artists.
The town also holds a significant place in Brazilian history, being the site of the Inconfidência Mineira, the first attempted uprising in the cause of independence, in 1789.
Ouro Preto is about two hours by bus from Belo Horizonte. The rodoviária is on the northwestern edge of town.
The town's small size and steep hills make walking the most convenient way of getting around.
Praça Tiradentes lies at the center of town. On the north side of the square is the Escolas de Minas (School of Mines), with a museum of mineralogy. On the south side is the Museu da Inconfidência.
Casa dos Contos
Museu da Independência
Museu de Mineralogia
Igreja do Pilar
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo
Mina da Passagem
A Mina da Passagem(Mine of the Crossing) is the world´s largest mine open to the public. In order to reach the mining galleries a small trolley is used and it is held by a steel cable. We descend for 315 meters and the total depth reaches 120 meters.
The visit to the mine is accompanied by a guide (who normally does not speak English, so make sure you have someone who can translate for you).
Apart from the grandiosity of the escavation, there is also a beautiful underground lake appropriate for diving through underground galleries. However, swimming is not allowed let alone drinking from the water due to its mineral content which is rich in arsenic (a highly toxic mineral). Nevertheless, the natural formation underground is a beautiful "water mirror".
If you plan to take pictures be aware that you will need a tripod and a lower shutter speed. Otherwise your pictures will be either blurred or totally blacked out.
Visiting information can be obtained at: OPM Empreendimentos Ltd, Passagem de Mariana, Tel: (31) 3557-5001, Email, website The admittance price is currently at R$17/person (circa USD8/person).
Mina Velha (Old Mine)
The Mina Velha is the oldest mine in town. This mine was dug by slaves and shows the contrast between hand dug mines and industrially dug mines (such as Mina da Passagem). The walking space is very limited and in certain locations can be claustrophobic for those who do not enjoy enclosed spaces. The admittance price is currently at R$10/person (circa USD5/person).
An excellent budget restaurant which specializes in local food. Food is normally cooked in stone pans. The average expenditure for 3 peoples is R$55,00 (USD20). Payments are cash only.
Booze Bar Café, Rua Direita 42, (31) 3551-1482. Located just off the square, with live music.
Restaurante Casa do Ouvidor Rua Conde de Bobadella 42. Ph. (31) 3551-2141,(most knew as Rua Direita). Most of Minas Gerais state regional cuisine, such as tutu a mineira , frango with quiabo or ora pro nóbis. Major credit and debit cards accepted.
Brumas Hostel (Youth Hostel), Rua Padre José Marcus Penna, 68 - Ouro Preto - Minas Gerais - Brazil
Brumos Hostel is located at the Historical Site, about 150m from the bus station. Besides, its location is centralized and has a breathtaking view from the city. You can easily access the city center, banks and the historical center.
The Hostel has its own kitchen where you can cook whenever you like. It also has a communal barbecue area to enjoy yourself and get together with others.
Student Houses, The city has a big university and is full of students houses, known as (Republicas). They often rent a room with low prices to tourists.