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July 21, 2008

Sabara - Minas Gerais


Sabará - Minas Gerais

Sabará is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.

Sabara Minas Gerais

Located in a majestic valley where the Velhas and the Sabará Rivers meet, this beautiful city in Minas Gerais emerged from the 18th Century gold rush. Few cities were able to keep their architecture virtually intact like Sabará, so much so that the entire history of an era can be told just by walking down its streets.

Sabará is a faithful portrait of one of the most fascinating periods in Brazilian history, told through its churches baroque architecture, through the mines hidden in the mountains, through the wooden troughs and other crude instruments used in gold extraction. Many of these, by the way, can be found at the bottom of the rivers

To walk the streets and city neighborhoods is to know part of the glorious saga of those explorers who searched for gold, and how the emerging Minas society was formed. It is also to be in an open-air museum.

That’s why the city catches the interest of tourists and scholars alike who can admire the best representative engravings of the baroque movement in the urban center.

Sabará is located in the Gold Circuit in the central tourist area of Minas Gerais. The main attractions are the townhouses, churches and big houses spread about the city’s narrow and centuries-old streets.

Holy Week
Holy Week is a tradition in the city and it is celebrated with the re-enactment of Christ’s Passion and Death in a very beautiful presentation. Presentations of solemn liturgies, the Via Sacra of Penitence and several processions are also part of the celebrations.

Sabará Festival
During the entire month of July, activities and cultural workshops are held to celebrate the elevation of Sabará to the Royal Villa.

Our Lady of Assumption Festivity
This is a traditional celebration in the Ravena district (former Arraial da Lapa), one of the first settlements in the region. A novena, little stands, Mass, music shows, auctions and a procession are highlights at the traditional event.

Cachaça (Sugar Cane Rum) Festival
This festival is held on the Esportes Square with cachaça tasting and selling of the best sugar cane rums in Minas Gerais. Little stands, music shows, the Best Cachaça Contest and the Best Snack Food.

Festival of the Divine
This is one of the city’s traditional parties, with the participation of the Butler and the Emperor, who organize the entire event together with the Society for the Divine Holy Spirit. The highlights include the raising of the flagpole and flag, processions, the distribution of bread and medals.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church
Work began in 1768 and it portrays the faith and strength of the African Negro. The slaves decided to build their own church, but the decline in gold mine activity did not permit it to be completed.

Our Lady of Carmo Church
This is one of the most spectacular stages for the art and geniality of Antônio Francisco Lisboa, the Aleijadinho. The images of San Juan de La Cruz, Saint Simon Stock and the Atlantes are attributed to the artist.

Saint Francis of Assisi Church
Before its construction, the site was home to a simple, rustic chapel dedicated to Our Lady Queen of the Angels, to whom Saint Francis was devoted. Work began in 1781, and truly accelerated between 1798 and 1805.

Municipal Theater
This is the second oldest theater in Brazil, and still in full operation. It has excellent acoustics and its architectonic lines are influenced by the English Theaters during the reign of Elizabeth I. That”s why it is also called the Elizabethan Theater.

Museum of Gold
This is an authentic example of crude Brazilian colonial architecture of the 18th Century (1713). This old Foundry and Magistrate House (the only construction with these characteristics still standing in Brazil) served for some time as a school. It has a permanent exhibit of sacred art and furniture pieces on the upper floor, which was the Magistrate”s residence. The ground floor is paved with round stones and it exhibits pieces related to the extraction, foundry process, coining and control of gold.

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