Attractions

Top Choice Church in Ouro Preto

Igreja de São Francisco de Assis

This exquisite church is Brazil's most important piece of colonial art, after Aleijadinho’s masterpiece The Prophets in Congonhas. Its entire exterior was carved by Aleijadinho himself, from the soapstone medallion …
Church in Ouro Preto

Matriz NS do Pilar

On the southwestern side of town, this is Brazil's second-most-opulent church (after Salvador’s São Francisco). It has 434kg of gold and silver and is one of the country's finest showcases of artwork. Note the wild-…
Museum in Ouro Preto

Casa dos Contos

This 18th-century treasury building still retains its historic foundry where gold was melted down and formed into bars under the watchful eye of the Portuguese crown. It doubled as a prison for members of the Inconf…
Mine in Ouro Preto

Minas da Passagem

Halfway between Ouro Preto and Mariana, this ancient gold mine was founded by the Portuguese in 1719 and definitively decommissioned in 1985. Guided tours descend in a rickety antique cable car, covering the mine’s …
Museum in Ouro Preto

Museu da Inconfidência

This historical museum is housed in Ouro Preto's old municipal headquarters and jail, an attractive building built between 1784 and 1854 on the southern side of Praça Tiradentes. It contains the tomb of Tiradentes, …
Church in Ouro Preto

Igreja de Santa Efigênia dos Pretos

Financed by gold from Chico-Rei’s mine and built by the slave community, this mid-18th-century church honors Santa Efigênia, princess of Nubia. The exterior image of NS do Rosário is by Aleijadinho. Slaves legendari…
Mine in Ouro Preto

Mina do Chico-Rei

Near Matriz NS da Conceição de Antônio Dias is the abandoned mine of Chico-Rei. There’s little to see as you stoop through the low passageways, but it’s the perfect place to meditate on the fascinating story of this…
Museum in Ouro Preto

Museu do Oratório

This museum features a fabulous collection of hand-carved oratórios – miniature home altars and portable devotional shrines dating back to the 17th century. It's housed in the Casa do Noviciado, a triple-level colon…
Square in Ouro Preto

Praça Tiradentes

Ouro Preto's vast cobblestoned central square is surrounded by some of the city’s finest museums and churches, and serves as the centerpiece for city-wide festivals such as Carnaval.
Church in Ouro Preto

Igreja NS do Carmo

Built between 1766 and 1772, this lovely church was a group effort by the area’s most important artists. It features a facade and two side altars by Aleijadinho.