Welcome to Congonhas
This small industrial town has been saved from complete obscurity by the beautiful, brooding presence of Aleijadinho’s extraordinary The Prophets at the Basílica do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos. The dramatic statues, arrayed artistically along the broad staircase at the foot of Congonhas' hilltop church, are Aleijadinho’s masterpiece and Brazil’s most famed work of art. For lovers of the Brazilian baroque, it's worth detouring to Congonhas just to see them.
Congonhas is 72km south of Belo Horizonte, 3km off Hwy BR-040. The city grew up with the search for gold in the nearby Rio Maranhão, and the economy today is dominated by iron mining in the surrounding countryside.