13 January 2009

In Country: Gates and Alleys

On Saturday David, Hope, Fernando, Sue Ellen (his girlfriend) and I took a day trip to the colonial town of Ouro Preto. This small town of 70,000 people was originally the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, and was the center of gold and diamond mining in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result of the mining industries, the townspeople became quite wealthy, thereby allowing them to hire many artists to construct great works of art. In 1980 the entire town was declared by UNESCO as a Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity site.

Almost as soon as I got off the bus I realized I needed more than one day to explore, as there are multiple museums (most of which only open at 12:00pm each day) and lots of other alleyway gems to discover. With its narrow cobble stone streets, 18th century architecture and several stunning cathedrals, this is a town worth spending 3 or 4 days in.

As we walked through the streets, I was fascinated with images of gates, alleys and doorways. So here is a small exhibition of what I found in Ouro Preto.

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