Welcome to São João del Rei

Downtown there are plenty of high-rises and other trappings of 21st-century Brazil, yet unexpected colonial surprises lurk around every corner. The historic city center, which is protected by Brazil’s Landmarks Commission, features two good museums, several of the country’s finest churches and some gorgeous old mansions – one of which belonged to the late and still popular never-quite-president Tancredo Neves. Floodlights illuminate the churches every night, adding to the city’s aesthetic appeal.

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