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Paraty grew in the 18th century as a strategically important port for exporting the gold mined in [[Minas Gerais]]. When shipments in nearby Rio began to attract the attention and ambition of pirates and privateers from rival European powers, the Portuguese began using Paraty as their safe port for getting their gold to Lisbon. Together with [[Ouro Preto]], the town was part of the [[Royal Road]] (''Caminho Real'' or ''Caminho do Ouro'', Gold Road), a route used to export gold in colonial times. It was also an obligatory sleep-over stop for travelers between Rio and [[São Paulo]] until the late 1800s, when the inner road was opened. This caused Paraty to be forgotten, stalled in time, away from "progress" and disfiguration and helped it preserve its old city as it was in the past. In the 1970s, it was rediscovered as a popular tourist destination.