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Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais

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Minas Gerais (ˈminɐz ʒeˈɾajs) is one of the 26 states of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the city of Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

, located near the central area. The main producer of coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 and milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 in the country, Minas Gerais is known for its heritage of architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 and colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 in historical cities such as Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

, Diamantina, Tiradentes
Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
Tiradentes is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It is located at , has an area of 83.5 km², and a maximum height of 927 m. Tiradentes had an estimated population of 6,364, as of 2004. The original village was established in 1702 and become a city on 19 January 1718....

 and Mariana
Mariana
-Places:*Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil*Mariana, Spain, Cuenca province, Castile-La Mancha, Spain*Mariana Islands, in the north-western Pacific Ocean*Mariana Lake, Alberta, Canada*Mariana Trench, the deepest trench in the world's oceans...

. In the south, the tourist points are the hydro mineral spas, such as Caxambu
Caxambu
Caxambu is a Brazilian city in Minas Gerais. Its population in 2004 was estimated at 23,482.Located at the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Caxambu is renowned by its spa, which has twelve sources of mineral water flowing, 24 hours a day....

, São Lourenço
São Lourenço, Minas Gerais
São Lourenço is a Brazilian town in the state of Minas Gerais, in the Southwest region of the country. It is one of the smallest Brazilian municipalities, with only 57.2 km² , and it is well known nationwide for its natural beauty and healing mineral waters...

, São Thomé das Letras
São Thomé das Letras
São Thomé das Letras is a small town in the south-end of Minas Gerais state in southeastern Brazil, 35 km east of Três Corações city. Its population in 2008 was of 6,880 inhabitants.-Economic activities:...

, Monte Verde
Camanducaia
Camanducaia is the southernmost municipality in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Inhabited by 20,212 in 2008....

 and the national park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

s of Caparaó
Caparaó National Park
Caparaó National Park is a park located on the border between Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo states in Brazil. Pico da Bandeira, one of the highest mountains in Brazil, is located there. Its coordinates are 20º19’—20º 37’ S and 41º43’—41º53’ W....

 and Canastra. The landscape of the State is marked by mountains, valleys, and large areas of fertile lands. In the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

, Cordisburgo and Lagoa Santa
Lagoa Santa
For Lagoa Santa, a municipality in Goiás see Lagoa Santa, GoiásLagoa Santa is a municipality and region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil...

, the cave
Cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...

s and waterfall
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

s are the attractions. Some of Brazil's most famous caverns are located there.

Etymology


There are two interpretations for the origin of the name Minas Gerais. It comes from "Minas dos Matos Gerais", the former name of the colonial province (either "Mines of the General Woods" or "General Mines of the Woods", depending on which noun the word "Gerais" is taken to modify). So a first and more common understanding affirms that the name simply means "General Mines", with the word Gerais serving as an adjective to the mines, which were themselves spread in several spots around a larger region. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history: the region of the mines (Minas), and the region of the Gerais ("Matos Gerais" or "Campos Gerais", which means something close to "General Fields"). These corresponded to the areas of Sertão
Sertão
In Portuguese, the word sertão first referred to the vast hinterlands of Asia that Lusitanian explorers encountered. In Brazil, the geographical term referred to backlands away from the Atlantic coastal regions where the Portuguese first settled in South America in the early sixteenth century...

 which were farther and hard to access (with an economy based on farming and agriculture) from the mining spots (whose economic space was urban from its origin). The confusion comes from the fact that the term "Gerais" is taken as an adjective to "Minas" in the first version, although according to this point of view it refers to the region called Gerais (as a noun). A further complication is that this is not a well defined area on the map of the state, but rather a designation to these parts outside the mining spots, more related to the geography of Sertão, and more isolated from the state's nucleus.

Location


Minas Gerais is in the west of the southeastern subdivision of Brasil, which also contains the states of São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

 and Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

. It borders on Bahia
Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

 and Goiás
Goiás
Goiás is a state of Brazil, located in the central part of the country. The name Goiás comes from the name of an indigenous community...

 (north), Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso do Sul
Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the states of Brazil.Neighboring Brazilian states are Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay and Bolivia to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising...

 (far west), the states of São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

 and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

 (south) and the state of Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo
Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

 (east). It also shares a short boundary with the Brazilian Federal District
Brazilian Federal District
The Federal District is set apart for Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Located in a region called Planalto Central, or Central Plateau, the Federal District is divided in 29 administrative regions. Brasilia - place where the three branches of the Federal Government are located - is the main...

. Minas Gerais is situated between 14°13'58" and 22°54'00" S latitude and between 39°51'32" and 51°02'35" W longitude.

Geography


Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco
São Francisco River
The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of , it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America and overall in Brazil...

, the Paraná
Paraná River
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some . It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language...

 and to a lesser extent, the Rio Doce
Doce River
The Doce River is a river in southeast Brazil, which has an extension of 853 km.It is formed by the junction of the Piranga and the Carmo near the historical city of Ouro Preto, whose sources are located in the foothills of the Mantiqueira and Espinhaço mountain chains at altitudes of about 1,200...

. The state also holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. Some of the highest peaks in Brazil are in the mountain ranges in the southern part of the state, such as Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Cervo, that mark the border between Minas and its neighbors São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. The most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira
Pico da Bandeira
Pico da Bandeira is the third highest mountain in Brazil, situated near the border of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais. It is the highest point in both states as well. It was historically considered the highest mountain in Brazil until the 1950s, when the Pico da Neblina was explored and measured...

, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, standing on the border with Espírito Santo state. The state also has huge reserves of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and sizeable reserves of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 and gemstones
Gemstones
Gemstones is the third solo album by Adam Green, released in 2005. The album is characterised by the heavy presence of Wurlitzer piano, whereas its predecessor relied on a string section in its instrumentation.-Track listing:#Gemstones – 2:24...

, including emerald
Emerald
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness...

, topaz
Topaz
Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO42. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces.-Color and varieties:...

 and aquamarine mines.

Each region of the state has a distinct character, geographically and to a certain extent culturally.
  • The central and eastern area of the state is hilly and rocky, with little vegetation on the mountains. Around Lagoa Santa
    Lagoa Santa
    For Lagoa Santa, a municipality in Goiás see Lagoa Santa, GoiásLagoa Santa is a municipality and region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil...

     and Sete Lagoas
    Sete Lagoas
    Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

     a typical Karst topography
    Karst topography
    Karst topography is a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, but has also been documented for weathering resistant rocks like quartzite given the right conditions.Due to subterranean drainage, there...

     with caves and lakes is found. Some of the mountains are almost entirely iron ore, which led to extensive mining (in some places at the expense of the environment). Recent advances in environmental policy helped to put limits to mining. About 200 kilometres (124.3 mi) to the east of Belo Horizonte
    Belo Horizonte
    Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

     is the second Metropolitan Region of the state, Vale do Aço
    Vale do Aço metropolitan area
    The Vale do Aço Metropolitan Region is a metropolitan area in Minas Gerais, Brazil, comprising only the four municipalities of Coronel Fabriciano, Ipatinga, Santana do Paraíso and Timóteo, but have an influence area of 22 other municipalities.-History:The name means Steel Valley in Portuguese...

     (steel valley), which has iron and steel processing companies along the course of the Rio Doce and its tributaries. Vale do Aço's largest cities are Ipatinga
    Ipatinga
    Ipatinga is a city and municipality located in eastern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The city was founded in 1962 and covers a total area of 166.5 km². Its population is 240,338 . It is part of the Vale do Aço Metropolitan Area .Ipatinga is located at the site where the Piracicaba River flows into...

    , Coronel Fabriciano
    Coronel Fabriciano
    Coronel Fabriciano is a Brazilian city of the Vale do Aço metropolitan area in the State of Minas Gerais....

     and Timóteo
    Timóteo
    Timóteo is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais, located by the Piracicaba River. The population as of 2006 was 81,219 inhabitants. the city belongs to the metropolitan area of the Steel Valley . It is the hometown of Acesita, a steel factory specialized in the production of stainless...

    . Now that mining is restricted large areas of forest are being removed for timber, charcoal and to clear land for cattle ranching. The original forest cover of these inland hills is very much fragmented. The city of Governador Valadares
    Governador Valadares
    Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants.It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the...

     is in the limit of this region with the poorer North.
  • The south of Minas Gerais is hilly and green, with coffee
    Coffee
    Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

     and milk production. This region is notably cooler than the rest of the state, and some locations are subject to temperatures just below the freezing point during the winter. The region is also famed for its mineral-water resorts, including the cities of Poços de Caldas
    Poços de Caldas
    Poços de Caldas is a city and municipality in south-western Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the microregion of the same name. Its estimated population in 2009 was 151,449 inhabitants...

    , São Lourenço
    São Lourenço, Minas Gerais
    São Lourenço is a Brazilian town in the state of Minas Gerais, in the Southwest region of the country. It is one of the smallest Brazilian municipalities, with only 57.2 km² , and it is well known nationwide for its natural beauty and healing mineral waters...

     and Caxambu
    Caxambu
    Caxambu is a Brazilian city in Minas Gerais. Its population in 2004 was estimated at 23,482.Located at the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Caxambu is renowned by its spa, which has twelve sources of mineral water flowing, 24 hours a day....

    . Many industries are located at Varginha
    Varginha
    Varginha is a city and municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The estimated population is approximately 120,000 inhabitants and the area of the municipality is 396.39 km²...

     and Pouso Alegre
    Pouso Alegre
    Pouso Alegre is a city and municipality in southern region of Minas Gerais state, Brazil with a population of 127.974 of which 97.756 were urban and 9.020 were rural. The literacy rate is 94.2%. The area of the municipality is 541 km²...

    .
  • The southeast of the state, called Zona da Mata
    Zona da Mata (Minas Gerais)
    Zona da Mata is a mesoregion of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, situated in the southeastern part of the state, along the border of the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo...

     (Forest Zone) was the richest region until the mid 20th century, nowadays the biggest city, Juiz de Fora
    Juiz de Fora
    -Industry, Trade, and Culture:Juiz de Fora is the second most important industrial center in the state of Minas Gerais, despite being the fourth largest in terms of population. It was once the state's largest city, position which was held up until the beginning of the 20th century...

    , remains an important industrial, cultural and educational center, being also the fourth largest in the Minas state. The day-to-day living in the Zona da Mata however, is better represented by a group of smaller cities like Além Paraíba
    Além Paraíba
    Além Paraíba is a city in the southeastern Zona da Mata region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The name indicates its position on the far bank of the Rio Paraíba do Sul. It was known as São José d'Além Parahyba until 1923.- Railways :...

    , Viçosa
    Viçosa, Minas Gerais
    Viçosa is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the Zona da Mata, 142 km southeast of the state capital of Belo Horizonte. As of 2004 its population is estimated to be 73,121 and the area of the municipality is 279 km². The altitude is 648 meters...

    , Leopoldina, Cataguases
    Cataguases
    Cataguases is a city located in the southeastern part of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is mainly an industrial centre with a strong influence of coffee plantation in its early history . The population was estimated at about 62,000 inhabitants in 1996 and is expected to be at about 66,000...

    , Muriaé
    Muriaé
    Muriaé is a city and municipality in southeast Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It is located in the Zona da Mata region and its population in 2009 was approximately 99.628 inhabitants.-Important Facts:*Municipal Limits...

    , Ubá
    Ubá
    Ubá is a city located in the Zona da Mata mesoregion of Minas Gerais, Brazil, southeast of Belo Horizonte, and north of Rio de Janeiro. The estimated population of the city of Ubá was 99,708 in 2009. The current mayor of Ubá is Vadinho Baião....

    , Astolfo Dutra
    Astolfo Dutra
    Astolfo Dutra is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2006 is estimated to be 13,095 people living in an altitude of 260 meters. The area of the municipality is 159.139 km². The city belongs to the mesoregion of Zona da Mata and to the microregion of...

     and several others. Those cities put together a strong economic presence based mostly on agriculture, textiles and minerals. The city of the coffee in Minas Gerais is São João do Manhuaçú
    São João do Manhuaçu
    São João do Manhuaçu is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion of Zona da Mata and to the microregion of Manhuaçu.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais-References:...

     situated in Zona da Mata.
  • The west of Minas Gerais, also known as "Triângulo Mineiro
    Triângulo Mineiro
    The Triangle Mineiro Portuguese pronunciation: [tɾiɐɡulu minejru] is an officer in the region west of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The area is 93.500 km ² and is limited by the Serra da Canastra and Marcela, east, south of Sao Paulo, Goias in the north and west of the junction of the rivers...

    " (which means "the Minas Triangle", due to the geographic shape of this region), is composed of a particular type of savanna
    Savanna
    A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

    , known as Cerrado
    Cerrado
    The Cerrado, is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Gioas and Minas Gerais...

    . This region was initially occupied by great free-wheeling beef
    Beef
    Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

     ranches, which are still important for the economy of the region. Over the 1990s, extensive soy
    Soybean
    The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

     and corn farms occupied much of the farming land available. The Cerrado is also one of the principal coffee-growing areas of Brazil. The main cities of this region are Uberlândia
    Uberlândia
    Uberlândia is the main town in the Triangle region, west of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. With a population of 604,013 inhabitants, according to 2010 estimates, the city is the second largest in the state second only to Belo Horizonte...

    , Uberaba
    Uberaba
    Uberaba is a city and municipality in the west of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Its population is 296.000 with an area of 4529.7 km², giving a density of 60.71 people per km². It is located on a plateau at an elevation of 785 meters and is in the Uberaba River floodplain...

     and Patos de Minas
    Patos de Minas
    Patos de Minas is a city and municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, located some 400 km from Belo Horizonte on the Paranaíba River. The city had 133,054 in 2007 while the area of the municipality is 3,189 km²...

    .
  • The north of Minas Gerais is arid, being subject to frequent droughts. Recent irrigation projects use the water from the São Francisco
    São Francisco River
    The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of , it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America and overall in Brazil...

     river for agriculture; the river crosses the northern region carrying water from its basin in the central area of the state, which is subject to a regular rainfall pattern. The diamond mines of this region, manly in Diamantina, attracted miners but are now exhausted, and the remaining population lives in poor conditions, especially in the valley of the Jequitinhonha River
    Jequitinhonha River
    thumb|Source of the river in [[Serro]]|rightThe Jequitinhonha River is a river that flows mainly through the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Its source lies near Diamantina in the Serra do Espinhaço at an elevation of 1,200 m, after which it flows northward and then east-northeastward across the...

    . The region is, however, known for its high quality cachaça
    Cachaça
    Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

     production. Salinas
    Salinas, Minas Gerais
    Salinas is a municipality in the northeast of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Its population in 2007 was 37,370 inhabitants in a total area of 1,897 km².-Important facts and Distances:...

     in particular exports large amounts of this beverage. The main cities of this region are Montes Claros
    Montes Claros
    Montes Claros is a city located in northern Minas Gerais state, in Brazil. The estimated population in 2010 was 412,284 inhabitants and the total area of the municipality was 3,470 km²...

     and Teófilo Otoni
    Teófilo Otoni
    Téofilo Otoni is a city in northeast Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The population of the municipality was 126,895 in 2007 and the area is 3,253.4 km².-Origin of the name:...

    .

Paleontology



The discovery of the Maxakalisaurus topai (Dinoprata) fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s was a significant paleontological
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

 find. The fossil is a genus of titanosaurid dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

 found 45 kilometers (28 mi) from the city of Prata
Prata (Minas Gerais)
Prata is a Brazilian municipality located in the west of the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2008 was 26,573 living in a total area of 4,856 km². The city belongs to the statistical mesoregion of Triângulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaíba and to the statistical microregion of Uberlândia...

 (Triângulo Mineiro), in the state of Minas Gerais in 1998. It was closely related to Saltasaurus
Saltasaurus
Saltasaurus is a genus of titanosaurid sauropod dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous Period. Relatively small among sauropods, though still massive by the standards of modern creatures, Saltasaurus was characterized by a diplodocid-like head...

, a sauropod considered unusual because it had evolved apparently defensive traits, including bony plates on its skin and vertical plates along its spine; such osteoderms have also been found for Maxakalisaurus. The genus name is derived from the tribe of the Maxakali
Maxakalí
Maxakalí is a Maxakalían language spoken in fourteen villages in Minas Gerais, Brazil, by fewer than a thousand people.-Vowels:-Consonants:-Word order:The most common word order in Maxakalí is SOV.-Morphosyntactic alignment:...

; Topa is one of their divinities.

The Maxakalisaurus fossils belonged to an animal about 13 meters (43.3 ft) long, with an estimated weight of 9 tons, although, according to paleontologist Alexander Kellner
Alexander Kellner
Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner is a Liechtensteinian/Brazilian paleontologist, a leading expert in the field of the study of pterosaurs....

, it could reach a length of approximately 20 meters (65 ft). It had a long neck and tail, ridged teeth (unusual among sauropods) and lived about 80 million years ago. Because sauropods seem to have lacked significant competition in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, they evolved there with greater diversity and more unusual traits than elsewhere in the world. A replica has been displayed at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, since August 28, 2006.http://acd.ufrj.br/~museuhp/CP/Bol-Geol/Bol%20Geol%20Kellner%20-%20PDF.pdf

History


Minas Gerais was formed mainly by colonists who searched for veins of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 (discovered 1693) and gems
Gemstone
A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral, which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments...

, and later diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

s which come from the naturally occurring itacolumite
Itacolumite
Itacolumite is a naturally occurring porous, yellow sandstone that is flexible when cut into thin strips. It occurs in great numbers at Itacolumi, in the southern portion of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is also found in Jhajjar, India; Georgia; and Stokes and McDowell Counties North Carolina, USA...

 rock that can be found in great numbers in the region. These helped to boost occupation of the inner lands and led to the foundation of several new villages. In 1697, the Portuguese used enslaved African labor to start building the Estrada Real
Estrada Real
The Estrada Real is a colonial-era road in Brazil. Portuguese colonists of Brazil and their African slaves began building the Estrada Real in 1697 shortly after gold, diamonds, and other precious minerals were discovered in the state of Minas Gerais. The purpose of the road was to facilitate the...

, the "royal road," that would connect the ports of cities of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 and Paraty
Paraty
Paraty [pronounced Par-a-CHEE] is a preserved Portuguese colonial and Brazilian Imperial town with a population of about 36,000. It is located on the Costa Verde , a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil...

 to the mineral-rich regions of Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

, Serro, and, at the northernmost point, Diamantina. The first capital and seat of the local see was the city of Mariana
Mariana, Minas Gerais
Mariana is the oldest city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is a touristic city, founded on July 16, 1696, and retains the characteristics of a baroque city, with its churches, buildings and museums.-Further reading:...

; it was later moved to Vila Rica. In the late 18th century, Vila Rica was the largest city in Brazil and one of the most populous in America. As the gold mines were exhausted over the 19th century, the city lost its importance; it was later renamed Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

 and remained the state capital until the construction of the all-new, planned city of Belo Horizonte at the turn of the 20th century. The gold cycle left its mark in cities such as Mariana, Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

, Diamantina, Sabará
Sabará
Sabará is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

, Tiradentes and São João del Rei
São João del Rei
São João del-Rei also spelled São João del Rey or São João del Rei is a historical city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.Population: 40,600 inhabitants....

. The relative isolation from European influence, added to the huge influx of gold and other valuable minerals, helped the local people to develop their own style of art, which became known as Barroco Mineiro. Prime examples of this period are the richly decorated churches at the colonial cities, some of them preserved today as museums. The most important artist of this period was Antônio Lisboa, who became known as Aleijadinho
Aleijadinho
Aleijadinho was a Colonial Brazil-born sculptor and architect, noted for his works on and in various churches of Brazil....

. His statues and paintings are now highly valued by experts as one of the most refined artistic expressions outside Europe at that time.

In addition to art and architecture, there was an explosion of musical activity in Minas Gerais in the 18th century. Printed copies of European music, as well as accomplished musicians, made the journey to the area, and soon a local school of composition and performance was born and achieved considerable sophistication. Several composers worked in Minas Gerais in the 18th century, mainly in Vila Rica (now Ouro Preto), Sabará, Mariana, and other cities. Some of the names which have survived include José Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita, Marcos Coelho Netto, Francisco Gomes da Rocha and Ignácio Parreiras Neves; they cultivated a style related to the classical European style but marked by more a more chordal, homophonic
Homophony
In music, homophony is a texture in which two or more parts move together in harmony, the relationship between them creating chords. This is distinct from polyphony, in which parts move with rhythmic independence, and monophony, in which all parts move in parallel rhythm and pitch. A homophonic...

 sound, and they usually wrote for mixed groups of voices and instruments.

Guimarães Rosa's literature is highly situated in the Gerais, and they serve as an example of a space which is widespread (hence the term General) across the state (although more concentrated in its north) rather than neatly delimited and identifiable. This northern area began to be colonized (with brutal conflicts with the large amerindian population who lived in some parts, especially in Vale do Jequitinhonha) and turned accessible also departing southbound from Bahia up north, which made the Portuguese crown insert the region within the state of Minas Gerais's borders, in order to prevent gold and diamond smuggling and people trying to avoid colonial taxation and vigilance, for the state of MG was more closely watched by the crown.

During the 18th century, mining exploration was strongly controlled by the Portuguese Crown
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

, which imposed heavy taxes on everything extracted (one fifth of all gold would go to the Crown). Several rebellions were attempted by the colonists, always facing strong reaction by the imperial crown. One of the most important was the Felipe dos Santos revolt that ended with his execution but also with the separation of Minas Gerais of São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

. The most notable one, however, was the Inconfidência
Inconfidência Mineira
The Inconfidência Mineira of 1789 was an unsuccessful Brazilian independence movement.It was a result of the confluence of external and internal causes...

, started in 1789 by group of middle-class colonists, mostly intellectuals and young officers. They were inspired by the American
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and French Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 ideals. The conspiracy failed and the rebels were arrested and exiled. The most famous of them, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (known as Tiradentes
Tiradentes
Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes , was a leading member of the Brazilian revolutionary movement known as the Inconfidência Mineira whose aim was full independence from the Portuguese colonial power and to create a Brazilian republic. When the plan was discovered, Tiradentes was...

), was hanged by order of Queen Maria I of Portugal
Maria I of Portugal
Maria I was Queen regnant of Portugal and the Algarves from 1777 until her death. Known as Maria the Pious , or Maria the Mad , she was the first undisputed Queen regnant of Portugal...

, becoming a local hero and a national martyr of Brazil. The Minas Gerais flag — a red triangle on a white background — is based on the design for the national flag proposed by the "Inconfidentes", as the rebels became known.

In the economic history of Brazil, Minas Gerais plays a pivotal role in shifting the economic axis from the Brazilian northeast (based on sugarcane, that starts declining in the 18th century) to the southeast of the country, which still remains the major economic center. The large amounts of gold found in the region attracted the attention of Portugal back to Brazil, progressively turning Rio de Janeiro into an important port city, from where these would be shipped to Portugal and where the Portuguese crown would eventually move its administration in 1808 after Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Portugal (see Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil
The Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil was an episode in the history of Portugal and the history of Brazil in which the Portuguese royal family and its court escaped from Lisbon on November 29, 1807 to Brazil, just days before Napoleonic forces captured the city on December 1...

).

Due to the economic importance of the state and the particular traits of the local population — famed for its reserved and balanced character — Minas Gerais has also played an important role on national politics. During the 19th century, politicians such as José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva were instrumental in the establishment of the Brazilian Empire under the rule of Dom Pedro I and later his son, Dom Pedro II
Pedro II of Brazil
Dom Pedro II , nicknamed "the Magnanimous", was the second and last ruler of the Empire of Brazil, reigning for over 58 years. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was the seventh child of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Empress Dona Maria Leopoldina and thus a member of the Brazilian branch of...

. After the installation of the Brazilian Republic, during the early 20th century, Minas Gerais shared the control of the national political scene with São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 in what became known as the "Coffee with Cream
Café com leite
Café com leite was a term that referred to the domination of Brazilian politics under the Old Republic by the landed gentries of São Paulo and Minas Gerais...

" political cycle (coffee being the major product of São Paulo, and cream representing Minas Gerais' dairy industry, despite the latter also being an important coffee producer).

Minas Gerais was also home to two of the most influential Brazilian politicians of the second half of the 20th century. Juscelino Kubitschek was president from 1956 to 1961, and he was responsible for the construction of Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

 as the new capital of Brazil. Tancredo Neves
Tancredo Neves
Tancredo de Almeida Neves, SFO more commonly Tancredo Neves was a Brazilian politician. He was born in São João del Rey, in the state of Minas Gerais, of mostly Portuguese, but also Austrian descent and graduated in law. The Neves family name comes from an Azorean great great grandfather...

 had an extensive political career that culminated with his election in 1984 to be the first civil president after the 1964 military countercoup. However, he died after a series of health complications just as he was about to assume the position. Also, Itamar, Brazil's previous president, lived there, though he was not born in Minas

See also the List of Governors of Minas Gerais.

Demographics



According to the IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 of 2008, there were 19,765,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 32.73 PD/km2.

Urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

: 84.7% (2006); Population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

: 1.4% (1991–2000); House
House
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

s: 5,741,000 (2006).

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 9,091,000 White
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

 people (45.68%), 8,927,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (44.85%), 1,802,000 Black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

 people (9.05%), 40,000 Asian
Asian Brazilian
An Asian Brazilian is is a Brazilian citizen of full or partial Asian ancestry, who remains culturally connected to Asia, or an Asian-born person permanently residing in Brazil. Brazil received many immigrants from Asia, both from Middle East and East Asia...

 people (0.20%), 37,000 Amerindian
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 people (0.18%).

Ethnic groups found in Minas Gerais include: Amerindians
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

, Portuguese, Africans
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

, Italians, Germans
German Brazilian
A German Brazilian is a Brazilian person of ethnic German ancestry or origin...

 and Lebanese
Arab Brazilian
An Arab Brazilian is a Brazilian citizen born in an Arabic country, or a Brazilian-born person of Arab descent, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Arabic culture.- Immigration to Brazil :...

.

The ethnic composition of the population varies from town to town. For example, in Córrego do Bom Jesus, a small town located in the extreme south of Minas Gerais, White people
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

 make up 98.70% of the population. On the other hand, in Setubinha, located in the northeast part of the state, 71.81% are mixed-race
Pardo
In Brazil, Pardo is a race/colour category used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in Brazilian censuses. It is a Portuguese word that encompasses various shades of brown, but is usually translated as "grayish-brown"...

 and 14.70% Blacks
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

. It is historically explainable: southern Minas Gerais, in the border with São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

, received larger numbers of Portuguese farmers in colonial times. In the late 19th century, Italian immigrants also arrived. The north region, close to Bahia
Bahia
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth most populous Brazilian state after São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth-largest in size...

, was a place to the arrival of many African slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 since the 18th century. The central part of the state, where the capital Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

 is, has a more balanced ratio between Whites, Blacks and mixed people.

The population of Minas Gerais is the result of an intense mixture of peoples, particularly between Black Africans and Portuguese. In colonial Minas Gerais, the population was divided in five different categories: Whites, mostly Portuguese; Africans, who often did not have a surname and were usually known for their region of origin (for example Francisca Benguela would refer to Benguela); Crioulos (Black people born in Brazil, usually to both African parents); Mulattoes (people of mixed Black and White ancestry, usually born to a Black mother and a Portuguese father) and Cabras (people of mixed ancestry, usually with high degree of Amerindian admixture). Blacks and Mulattoes predominated in the population after the beginning of the colonization. By the 19th century, however, "whites" were already the largest single group in the Minas Gerais population. Taking the population as a whole (all groups included), European genes account for the majority of the Minas Gerais genetic heritage, which has been explained on the basis of the extremely high mortality rates of the enslaved African population and lower reproductive rate of African slaves (the vast majority of them were males, among other reasons for their lower reproductive success) The Amerindian population was hit hard by the diseases brought by the European colonists and they did not have much of an impact either, especially in Minas Gerais, where European presence and colonization was massive.

During the colonial period, the disproportion between the number of men and women was quite sharp. The census of 1738 in Serro do Frio, which included Diamantina, revealed that of the 9,681 inhabitants, 83.5% were men and 16.5% women. Among the slaves, women were only 3.1%. The number of free "women of color" (Blacks and Mulattoes) was very high. The same census revealed that 63% of the former slaves were women and only 37% men. Since interracial
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 relationships between "women of color" and White men were widespread, the female slaves were more likely to be freed than the male slaves.

The monogamous family structure that the Catholic Church tried to deploy in colonial Brazil was the exception in Minas Gerais. At that time cohabitation and temporary relationships predominated in Minas Gerais, as well as in Brazil as a whole. Monogamy and wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

s in churches would only take root in Brazil in the 19th century, fitting the moral standards imposed by the Church. The role of women in colonial Minas Gerais was much more dynamic than it would be allowed by the standards of the time. Many women used to live on their own, were heads of family and worked, particularly the "women of color" and former slaves. The society of Minas Gerais provided a great social mobility to former slaves, mainly for women. In Tejuco, the percentage of White males who were head of family (37.7%) was very similar to the percentage of Black women who were head of family (38.5%). Many former slaves were able to accumulate goods and many of them became slave owners as well. Some Blacks and mainly Mulattos were able to integrate themselves in the highest social stratum of the society of Minas Gerais, once restricted to Whites. This happened through a process of "whitening" their descendence and through the assimilation of the culture of the White elite, like being members of Catholic brotherhoods.

Cohabitation
Cohabitation
Cohabitation usually refers to an arrangement whereby two people decide to live together on a long-term or permanent basis in an emotionally and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is most frequently applied to couples who are not married...

 was the most common crime
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

 in Minas Gerais. The Catholic Church was strict in the punishment of this crime, in order to prevent the widespread miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 between White, mostly Portuguese males with Black or Mulatto women.

A genetic study suggested that the "Whites" from Minas Gerais would have the lowest levels of European (at 70.8%) ancestry among the Brazilian regions and higher levels(at 16.1%) of African admixture, with significant Amerindian (13.1%) admixture, the European reference population in the study being 94.6% European, 2.8% Native American and 2.6% African, which would give an actual percentage of European ancestry of about 74.84% actual European ancestry (roughly 75%), and less than 15% of each, Native American and African ancestries.

According to another study, however, the European ancestry is dominant throughout Brazil at 80%, Minas Gerais included (and this taking into account the whole of the population of Minas Gerais, "white", "pardos" and "blacks"). "A new portrayal of each ethnicity contribution to the DNA of Brazilians, obtained with samples from the five regions of the country, has indicated that, on average, European ancestors are responsible for nearly 80% of the genetic heritage of the population. The variation between the regions is small, with the possible exception of the South, where the European contribution reaches nearly 90%. The results, published by the scientific magazine American Journal of Human Biology by a team of the Catholic University of Brasília, show that, in Brazil, physical indicators such as skin colour, colour of the eyes and colour of the hair have little to do with the genetic ancestry of each person, which has been shown in previous studies".

During the time of the gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

, the largest European immigration of the colonial period, to all of the Americas, took place, about 600,000 Portuguese immigrated to Brazil during the gold rush, and most of them to Minas Gerais, the place where the gold rush activities took place. Most of them came from Entre Douro e Minho, in Northern Portugal. The reference book for a large number of these families is "Velhos Troncos Mineiros" (Old Mineiro Branches) by Raimundo Trindade.

The Native American population of Minas Gerais was estimated to be at 97,000 in 1500, by the time the Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500 (John Hemming in "Red Gold: The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians").

Religion

Religion Percentage Number
Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

78.70% 14,091,479
Protestants 13.61% 2,437,186
No religion
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

4.60% 822,855
Spiritists
Spiritism
Spiritism is a loose corpus of religious faiths having in common the general belief in the survival of a spirit after death. In a stricter sense, it is the religion, beliefs and practices of the people affiliated to the International Spiritist Union, based on the works of Allan Kardec and others...

1.59% 284,336
Umbandists
Umbanda
Umbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religion that blends African religions with Catholicism, Spiritism and Kardecism, and considerable indigenous lore....

0.11% 20,223

Source: IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 2000.

Economy


The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 47.1%, followed by the industrial sector at 44.1%. Agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 represents 8.8% of GDP (2004). Exports: iron ore 26.1%, siderurgy 20.9%, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 12.8%, not ferrous metals 7.2%, others agriculture products 6.2%, vehicles 5.9% (2002).

Share of the Brazilian economy: 9% (2005).

Minas Gerais (or simply Minas, as it is commonly called) is a major producer of milk, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 and other agricultural commodities, as well as minerals. Electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 are also produced in Minas. The automakers Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 and Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 have factories there. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 is also an important activity for the state: historical cities like Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

, Mariana, Sabará
Sabará
Sabará is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

, Congonhas, Diamantina, Tiradentes, and Sao João del Rey, are a major attractive for visitors interested in their colonial architecture. Other cities, like Araxá
Araxá
Araxá is a city and municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The population was 87,764 inhabitants and the area of the municipality is 1,283 km², with 345 km² making up the urban perimeter.-Geography:...

, Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas is a city and municipality in south-western Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the microregion of the same name. Its estimated population in 2009 was 151,449 inhabitants...

, Lambari, Caxambu, and others, attract visitors interested in their mineral watersprings. Eco-tourism is a rising economic activity in the state, specially in localities situated on the several Serras (highlands) that exist in Minas Gerais.

The state has marked economic divisions. The southern part of the state (close to the São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 and Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 state borders) has several mid-sized cities with solid industrial bases such as Juiz de Fora
Juiz de Fora
-Industry, Trade, and Culture:Juiz de Fora is the second most important industrial center in the state of Minas Gerais, despite being the fourth largest in terms of population. It was once the state's largest city, position which was held up until the beginning of the 20th century...

, Varginha
Varginha
Varginha is a city and municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The estimated population is approximately 120,000 inhabitants and the area of the municipality is 396.39 km²...

, Pouso Alegre
Pouso Alegre
Pouso Alegre is a city and municipality in southern region of Minas Gerais state, Brazil with a population of 127.974 of which 97.756 were urban and 9.020 were rural. The literacy rate is 94.2%. The area of the municipality is 541 km²...

, and Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas is a city and municipality in south-western Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the microregion of the same name. Its estimated population in 2009 was 151,449 inhabitants...

, as well as Ipatinga
Ipatinga
Ipatinga is a city and municipality located in eastern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The city was founded in 1962 and covers a total area of 166.5 km². Its population is 240,338 . It is part of the Vale do Aço Metropolitan Area .Ipatinga is located at the site where the Piracicaba River flows into...

 in the east of the state, which is also a modern and major industrial city and Itabira
Itabira
Itabira is a Brazilian municipal district and one of the main cities of the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Itabira....

, considered city mother of the Company it is Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
Vale S.A. Vale S.A. Vale S.A. (BM&F Bovespa: / , / , / , / , is an Brazilian diversified mining multinational corporation and one of the largest logistics operators in Brazil. In addition to being the second-largest mining company in the world, Vale is also the largest producer of iron ore,...

, that has stocks quoted in Bovespa
Bovespa
The BM&FBOVESPA is a stock exchange located at São Paulo, Brazil. As of December 31, 2010 it had a market capitalization of US $1.54 Trillion, making it one of the largest in the world. On May 8, 2008, the São Paulo Stock Exchange and the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange merged,...

 and NYSE. The northeastern region is marked by poverty, but Governador Valadares
Governador Valadares
Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants.It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the...

 http://www.agrogemeos.com.br/governador-valadares-MG.html and Teófilo Otoni
Teófilo Otoni
Téofilo Otoni is a city in northeast Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The population of the municipality was 126,895 in 2007 and the area is 3,253.4 km².-Origin of the name:...

 attract foreign traders for the semi-precious gems such as topaz and sapphire
Sapphire
Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide , when it is a color other than red or dark pink; in which case the gem would instead be called a ruby, considered to be a different gemstone. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium can give...

. The central region of the state (where the capital is located) has big reserves of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 (and to a lesser extent, gold) still being actively mined. There are also large companies installed the automotive industry, as manufacturers FIAT
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 in Betim
Betim
Betim is a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located at around . The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitan of Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte....

, IVECO
Iveco
Iveco, an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation, originally an alliance of European commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat , Unic and Magirus. Iveco is now an Italian truck, bus, and diesel engine manufacturer, based in Turin...

 in Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

 and suppliers of auto-parts, as STOLA
Stola
The stola was the traditional garment of Roman women, corresponding to the toga, or the pallium, that were worn by men.Originally, women wore togas as well, but after the 2nd century BC, the toga was worn exclusively by men, and women were expected to wear the stola...

 and USIPARTS.The western part, the "Triângulo Mineiro", is less densely populated than the rest of the state, and it is now a focus of biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 investment, particularly on the cities of Uberlândia
Uberlândia
Uberlândia is the main town in the Triangle region, west of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. With a population of 604,013 inhabitants, according to 2010 estimates, the city is the second largest in the state second only to Belo Horizonte...

, Uberaba
Uberaba
Uberaba is a city and municipality in the west of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Its population is 296.000 with an area of 4529.7 km², giving a density of 60.71 people per km². It is located on a plateau at an elevation of 785 meters and is in the Uberaba River floodplain...

 and Patos de Minas
Patos de Minas
Patos de Minas is a city and municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, located some 400 km from Belo Horizonte on the Paranaíba River. The city had 133,054 in 2007 while the area of the municipality is 3,189 km²...

, which includes leading research on cattle, soy and corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 culture.

Interesting facts


Vehicles: 4,887,283 (March/2007); Mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s: 11.3 million (April/2007); Telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

s: 4.2 million (April/2007); Towns
Towns
- People :* Anthony Towns , computer programmer* Charles B. Towns American an expert on alcoholism and drug addiction* Colin Towns , English composer...

: 853 (2007).

Educational institutions

  • Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
    Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
    Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais is a federal university located in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The students are admitted through yearly exams called vestibular....

     (UFMG) (Federal University of Minas Gerais)
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais
    Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais
    Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais is a private and non-profit Brazilian Catholic university located in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. In 2006 and 2010, PUC-MG was chosen the best private university in Brazil...

     (PUC-MG)
  • Faculdade de Ciências Medicas de Minas Gerais FCMMG (Medical Sciences Faculty of Minas Gerais)
  • Universidade Federal de Alfenas (Unifal-MG) (Federal University of Alfenas)
  • Universidade Federal de Itajuba (UNIFEI) (Federal University of Itajuba)
  • Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora
    Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora
    The Federal University of Juiz de Fora is one of the leading universities in Brazil. It was established in 1960 by an act of Brazilian former President Juscelino Kubitscheck. At that time, different colleges functioning in the city of Juiz de Fora were officially integrated by the Government to...

     (UFJF) (Federal University of Juiz de Fora)
  • Universidade Federal de Lavras (Ufla) (Federal University of Lavras)
  • Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (Ufop) (Federal University of Ouro Preto)
  • Universidade Federal de São João del Rei (UFSJ) (Federal University of São João del Rei)
  • Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU) (Federal University of Uberlandia
    Federal University of Uberlândia
    The Federal University of Uberlândia is an institution in the southwest of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is a public university located in Uberlândia...

    )
  • Universidade Federal de Viçosa
    Universidade Federal de Viçosa
    Universidade Federal de Viçosa - UFV - is a public federal university located in the city of Viçosa, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil...

     (UFV) (Federal University of Viçosa)
  • Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro (UFTM) (Federal University of Mineiro Triangle)
  • Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM) (Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Murici Valleys)
  • Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros (Unimontes) (State University of Montes Claros)
  • Universidade de Itaúna
  • Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais
    Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais
    The Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais is an education center located in Minas Gerais, Brazil....

     (CEFET-MG)
  • Faculdade de Direito Milton Campos (FDMC) (Faculty of Law Milton Campos)
  • and many others.

Culture


Minas Gerais may be called Deep Brazil by analogy with France profonde. It has a distinctly more native flavour than cosmopolitan São Paulo
São Paulo (state)
São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

, a more traditional slant than flashy Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro (state)
Rio de Janeiro is one of the 27 states of Brazil.Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy of Brazil behind only São Paulo state.The state of Rio de Janeiro is located within the Brazilian geopolitical region classified as the Southeast...

, and is more Portuguese than the South and São Paulo with their great influx of Italians and other Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

ans, the North with its native Indians, or the Northeast with its heavy Afro-Brazilian influence.

Those born and raised in Minas Gerais, also called Mineiros, bare an unmistakable accent that sets them apart from fellow Brazilians. They are considered reserved, prudent, relatively silent to the point of melancholy, but welcoming and family-focused. It is one of the most religious states, with a large proportion of staunch Roman Catholics and a burgeoning Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 and neo-Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 population, with pockets of African religions. The Spiritist doctrine
Spiritist doctrine
This article discusses parallels between the Gospel of Jesus and Spiritism as presented in the works of Allan Kardec, especially in The Spirits Book and The Gospel According to Spiritism.-The teachings of Jesus:...

 is also professed by a significant portion of the population, partly due to the influence of Chico Xavier
Chico Xavier
Chico Xavier, born Francisco de Paula Cândido was a popular medium in Brazil's spiritism movement who wrote 413 books, ostensibly using a process known as "psychography"....

, the main spiritual icon of Brazil, who lived in Minas Gerais all his life.

Minas Gerais is also known nationally for its cuisine. The cultural basis of its cuisine is the small farmhouse, and many of the dishes are prepared using locally produced vegetables and meats, especially chicken and pork. Traditional cooking is done using coal- or wood-fired ovens and cast iron pans, making for a particularly tasty flavor; some restaurant chains have adopted these techniques and made this type of food popular in other parts of the country.

Many of the cakes and appetizers of the local cuisine use corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 or cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

 (known there as mandioca) flour instead of wheat, as the latter did not adapt well to the local weather. The best-known dish from Minas Gerais is "pão de queijo", a small baked roll (known internationally as "Brazilian cheese rolls") made with cheese and cassava flour that can be served hot as an appetizer or for breakfast.

The state is also Brazil's most traditional producer of cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

. Minas cheese
Minas cheese
Minas cheese is a type of cheese that has been traditionally produced in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It comes in three varieties, named Frescal , Meia-cura and Curado...

 is renowned nationwide as the distinct Brazilian cheese. Cachaça
Cachaça
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

 is also a local produce of some importance.

The state cuisine is showcased in various festivals year round and in many locations throughout the state, but the biggest festival is the month long Comida de Buteco in Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

, where 41 bars and restaurant are selected to create a dish using ingredients traditional to local cuisine. People from all over the country and abroad rate the food, the temperature of the beer, the ambiance and service. In 2007, over 400,000 people participated in the festival according to Vox Populi
Vox populi
Vox populi , a Latin phrase that literally means voice of the people, is a term often used in broadcasting for interviews with members of the "general public".-Vox pop, the man on the street:...

 statistics.

Music is one of the most striking features of Minas Gerais and has been part of the history of the state since the early 16th and 17th centuries.

From the 18th century, composers like Jose Joaquim Lobo de Mesquita, Francisco Gomes da Rocha, Marcos Coelho Neto and Manoel de Oliveira Dias reinforced the musical tradition of Minas, with the composition of baroque pieces that are now revered as masterpieces. For Classical Music, the state features productions and performances of various orchestras and choirs.

Among them there are the Symphonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais and the Coral Lírico de Minas Gerais, a State Choir, maintained by Clovis Salgado Foundation, an institution linked to the Secretary of State for Culture. These and other groups have a strong presence in the capital and throughout the state, working for the popularization and democratization of classical music.

The most varied rhythms and sounds have their origins in the state. Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso
Ary Barroso was a Brazilian composer, pianist, soccer commentator, and talent-show host on radio and TV...

, who in 1939 composed one of Brazil's best known songs throughout the world, Aquarela do Brasil
Aquarela do Brasil
"Aquarela do Brasil" , known in the English-speaking world simply as "Brazil", is one of the most famous Brazilian songs of all time, written by Ary Barroso in 1939.-Background and composition:...

, was born in Ubá
Ubá
Ubá is a city located in the Zona da Mata mesoregion of Minas Gerais, Brazil, southeast of Belo Horizonte, and north of Rio de Janeiro. The estimated population of the city of Ubá was 99,708 in 2009. The current mayor of Ubá is Vadinho Baião....

, in the Zona da Mata Mineira.

In the 60th and 70th streets in the traditional neighborhood of Santa Tereza, Belo Horizonte, were the scene of one of the most important movements of national music: Clube da Esquina
Clube da Esquina
Clube da Esquina was a Brazilian music artists collective, originating in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It is also the name of a double album from 1972...

. With a unique blend of Brazilian popular music with pop and jazz, the Club met talents like Milton Nascimento
Milton Nascimento
-Biography:Nascimento's mother was the maid Maria Nascimento. As a baby, Milton Nascimento was adopted by his mother's former employers: the couple Josino Brito Campos, a banker employee, mathematics teacher and electronic technician; and Lília Silva Campos, a music teacher and choir singer...

, Wagner Tiso
Wagner Tiso
Wagner Tiso Veiga is a musician, arranger, conductor, pianist and composer from Brazil.-Biography:Tiso learned music theory with Paulo Moura and specialised in keyboards. In 1970, he joined Som Imaginário, working with Milton Nascimento. Tiso and Nascimento were then together in Clube da Esquina,...

, Toninho Horta
Toninho Horta
Toninho Horta is a virtuoso electric and nylon-string guitar player; his music could be defined as Brazilian music.He has developed his own very personal style...

, Fernando Brant, Lô Borges
Lô Borges
Lô Borges is a Brazilian songwriter, singer and guitarist.He was one of the founders of Clube da Esquina, a music collective originating in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. He co-authored with Milton Nascimento the album Clube da Esquina in 1972, which was a milestone in Brazilian popular...

, Beto Guedes, and Flávio Venturini.

The current scenario continues reflecting the vibrancy and dynamism of the cultural. A new generation of artists is represented by names like Skank
Skank (band)
Skank is a Brazilian rock/reggae band, begun in 1991, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. , they had sold approximately 5,200,000 copies of their albums...

, Pato Fu
Pato Fu
Pato Fu is a Brazilian rock band from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The band was formed by lead singer Fernanda Takai, guitarist John Ulhoa and bassist Ricardo Koctus, in 1992. Their drummer, Xande Tamietti, joined the band in 1996, as did keyboardist Lulu Camargo in 2005...

, Jota Quest
Jota Quest
Jota Quest is a Brazilian pop rock band. The band was founded in 1995, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais as J. Quest, but due to trademark issues with Hanna-Barbera, they renamed themselves Jota Quest...

, Sepultura
Sepultura
Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte, formed in 1984. The band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and ultimately groove metal realms during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments melding nu metal, hardcore punk and industrial.Sepultura...

, Vander Lee, Uakti
Uakti (band)
Uakti is a Brazilian instrumental musical group that is composed of Marco Antônio Guimarães, Artur Andrés Ribeiro, Paulo Sérgio Santos, and Décio Ramos. Uakti is known for using custom-made instruments, built by the group itself.-The name:...

, Marina Machado, Maurício Tizumba, Berimbrown, Copo Lagoinha and Amaranto.

Moving freely through different rhythms like rock, reggae, heavy metal, samba
Samba
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre originating in Bahia and with its roots in Brazil and Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival...

 and MPB
Música Popular Brasileira
Música Popular Brasileira or MPB designates a trend in post-Bossa Nova urban popular music. It is not a discrete genre but rather a constellation that combines original songwriting and updated versions of traditional Brazilian urban music styles like samba and samba-canção with contemporary...

, among others, the music in Minas Gerais continues the excellence and diversity that has always stapled it.

Minas Gerais is often recognized abroad as the state where the footballer
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 Pelé
Pelé
However, Pelé has always maintained that those are mistakes, that he was actually named Edson and that he was born on 23 October 1940.), best known by his nickname Pelé , is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time...

 was born (he has lived in the state of São Paulo since childhood, though).

Many famous Brazilian writers were born in Minas Gerais: Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Carlos Drummond de Andrade was perhaps the most influential Brazilian poet of the 20th century. He has become something of a national poet; his poem "Canção Amiga" was printed on the 50 cruzados note...

, Fernando Sabino
Fernando Sabino
Fernando Sabino was a Brazilian writer and journalist.Sabino was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, where he lived until he was twenty, when he moved to Rio de Janeiro....

 and João Guimarães Rosa
João Guimarães Rosa
João Guimarães Rosa was a Brazilian novelist, considered by many to be one of the greatest Brazilian novelists born in the 20th century. His best-known work is the novel Grande Sertão: Veredas...

. Aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont
Alberto Santos-Dumont
Alberto Santos-Dumont , was a Brazilian early pioneer of aviation. The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos Dumont dedicated himself to science studies in Paris, France, where he spent most of his adult life....

 was born in Minas Gerais, as well as various politicians, such as Presidents Afonso Pena, Venceslau Brás, Delfim Moreira
Delfim Moreira
Delfim Moreira da Costa Ribeiro was a Brazilian politician. He was born in Minas Gerais state, and was elected vice-president in 1918. He assumed the presidency on November 15, 1918, due to the illness and death of former and now elect president Rodrigues Alves. However, Moreira suffered from...

, Artur Bernardes, Juscelino Kubitschek, Tancredo Neves
Tancredo Neves
Tancredo de Almeida Neves, SFO more commonly Tancredo Neves was a Brazilian politician. He was born in São João del Rey, in the state of Minas Gerais, of mostly Portuguese, but also Austrian descent and graduated in law. The Neves family name comes from an Azorean great great grandfather...

, Itamar Franco
Itamar Franco
Itamar Augusto Cautiero Franco was a Brazilian politician and the President of Brazil from December 29, 1992, to January 1, 1995. During his long political career, Franco was also a Senator, Mayor, Ambassador, Governor and Vice President...

 and Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Rousseff
Dilma Vana Rousseff is the 36th and current President of Brazil. She is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to that, in 2005, she was also the first woman to become Chief of Staff of Brazil, appointed by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva....

.

International Airport


Tancredo Neves/Confins International Airport
Tancredo Neves International Airport
Tancredo Neves International Airport , formerly called Confins International Airport, is the main airport serving Belo Horizonte, Brazil, located in the adjoining municipality of Confins...

 is located in the municipalities of Lagoa Santa and Confins, 38 km (23 mi) from Belo Horizonte, and was opened in January 1984. It was planned from the start for future expansion in steps to meet growing demand. The airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 has one of the lowest rates of shutdown for bad weather
Weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 in the country. However, the Confins airport was not using much of its capacity until 2005, when it was decided that a large part of the Pampulha Airport flight
Flight
Flight is the process by which an object moves either through an atmosphere or beyond it by generating lift or propulsive thrust, or aerostatically using buoyancy, or by simple ballistic movement....

s (which is smaller and located inside Belo Horizonte's urban area) would move to Confins
Confins
Confins is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2006 is estimated to be 5,802 people. The area of the municipality is 42.008 km². The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte...

.

The first step was undertaken with careful concern for the environment, including monitoring by specialized consultants, since the region has a rich archeological heritage. Among the hundreds of caverns in the region, the one at Lapa Vermelha stands out. Located 2.7 km (1.6 mi) from the airport, the oldest female cranium in the Americans was discovered there, dated at roughly 12 thousand years old. Confins is certified by the ISO 9001 standard, covering ten processes in the administrative, operational, safety/security and maintenance areas. The Tancredo Neves International Airport has both domestic and international flights (to some locations in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

).

Administrative Center/ Cidade Administrativa de Minas Gerais


A new Administrative Center was completed in March 2010, for the state of Minas Gerais. Designed by the internationally renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

, the center consists of four large buildings on a 800,000 square meter site. Two buildings accommodate 17 of the state ministries, the third building consists of an auditorium, with capacity for 540 guests. The fourth and most impressive building is the "Palacio do Governo", which is the world's largest suspended structure, built in reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete is concrete in which reinforcement bars , reinforcement grids, plates or fibers have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in 1849 and patented in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is...

. The building has 150m spam and its roof is supported by 4 columns.

Highways


Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state that harbors the highest mileage of highways. The state highway network is 269,545 kilometers, of which only 11,396 on federal roads and 21,472 on state highways and state coincide, corresponding to all other municipal roads. Because of its central position, the state is crossed by the most important national highways, like BR-116
BR-116
BR-116 is a federal highway of Brazil. One of the most important highways in all of Brazil and one of its longest, the 4385 kilometre road connects Fortaleza to Jaguarão....

 (Rio-Bahia), BR-040
BR-040
BR-040 is a federal highway of Brazil. The 1178.7 kilometre road connects Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro....

 (Rio-Brasília) and others. Many of the most important Brazilian routes cross the state and, for this reason, it counts the greater proportion of car accidents per capita.

BR-122,
BR-040,
BR-135,
BR-146,
BR-251,
BR-259,
BR-265,
BR-265,
BR-265,
BR-265,
BR-267,
BR-352,
BR-354,
BR-356,
BR-356,
BR-364,
BR-367,
BR-367,
BR-367,
BR-381,
BR-381,
BR-383,
BR-383,
BR-393,
BR-459,
BR-462,
BR-464,
BR-491.

Sports


As in the rest of Brazil, football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 is the most popular sport among locals. Belo Horizonte has two of the most successful teams in the country, and the city also has one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, the Mineirão
Mineirão
Mineirão , officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto established in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the second largest in the country, after Maracanã...

, opened in 1965.

The older Independência Stadium hosted a legendary victory of the United States World Cup Team 1950 in a 1-0 triumph over England. See England v United States (1950)
England v United States (1950)
On 29 June 1950, at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the United States defeated England 1–0 in a group match. This unexpected result has led to the match being described as the "Miracle on Grass", in reference to the 1980 Miracle on Ice, in which the US ice hockey team beat the Soviet Union. The...

 and
http://national.soccerhall.org/Monthly%20Column/MC.May.2005.htm

Mineirão
Mineirão
Mineirão , officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto established in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the second largest in the country, after Maracanã...

 and Independência Stadium are closed for renovation to 2014 World Cup,so all Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

's teams are playing in Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

, the stadium is called "Arena do Jacaré
Arena do Jacaré
The Estádio Joaquim Henrique Nogueira, or Nogueirão, also nicknamed Arena do Jacaré , is a soccer stadium located in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais state, it seats 25,000 people...

".

Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro , are a Brazilian football club based in Belo Horizonte, the oldest in the city. Founded in 1908, they play in the Campeonato Mineiro and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A or Brasileirão. Atlético Mineiro have been Brazilian champions once, state winners a record 40 times and...

, which is also called by its nickname and mascot "Galo" (rooster
Rooster
A rooster, also known as a cockerel, cock or chanticleer, is a male chicken with the female being called a hen. Immature male chickens of less than a year's age are called cockerels...

) is one of the oldest football clubs in the city and was founded in 1908. Atlético Mineiro won one Brazilian championship in 1971, and has also won two CONMEBOL Cups
Copa CONMEBOL
The Copa CONMEBOL was an annual football cup competition organized by CONMEBOL between 1992 and 1999 for eligible South American football clubs. During its time of existence, it was the third most prestigious South American club football contest after the Copa Libertadores and Supercopa...

 (nowadays called Copa Sudamericana
Copa Sudamericana
The Copa Bridgestone Sudamericana de Clubes , known simply as the Copa Sudamericana , is an annual international club football competition organized by the CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second most prestigious club competition in South American football. CONCACAF clubs were invited between 2004...

) and 40 State Championships
Campeonato Mineiro
Campeonato Mineiro is the state football league of the state of Minas Gerais and is controlled by the Minas Gerais Football Federation FMF ....

. In spite of so much tradition, the team has suffered through very difficult times recently and was relegated to the Brazilian Série B
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B
The Série B is the second division of Brazilian football. It is played by 20 teams. However, the competition format has changed almost every year since it first occurred, in 1971. In some years, it was not played altogether...

. However, the club won the championship in 2006 and is back to Série A
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
The Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Série A , popularly known as the Brasileirão , is a professional football league at the top of the Brazilian football league system held annually since 1959. Contested by twenty clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Série B...

 in 2007.

Cruzeiro
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and are one of the only five clubs to have never been relegated, along with Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo and Internacional. Founded on January 2, 1921, they are only one of three clubs to have participated in...

 was founded in 1921 by the members of the local Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 community. Cruzeiro has been one of Brazil's most successful clubs in the 1990s and early 2000s, winning 4 National Cups
Copa do Brasil
The Copa Kia do Brasil, commonly known as Copa do Brasil , is a knockout competition played by 64 association football teams, representing all 26 Brazilian states plus the Federal District...

, 1 National League
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
The Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Série A , popularly known as the Brasileirão , is a professional football league at the top of the Brazilian football league system held annually since 1959. Contested by twenty clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Série B...

, 2 Copa Libertadores, and 2 Supercopa Libertadores, and is also the winner of Taça Brasil
Taça Brasil
The Taça Brasil was a Brazilian national football competition which was contested from 1959 to 1968. It is considered by many historians the most important football tournament in Brazil at the time and is compared, in importance level, to the current Campeonato Brasileiro.Bahia, Cruzeiro and...

 in 1966 and 34 State Championships.Cruzeiro also was elected the most successful brazilian team in last century by IFFHS.In 2003, Cruzeiro won the triple crown, when the team won the National League
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
The Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Série A , popularly known as the Brasileirão , is a professional football league at the top of the Brazilian football league system held annually since 1959. Contested by twenty clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Série B...

, National Cups
Copa do Brasil
The Copa Kia do Brasil, commonly known as Copa do Brasil , is a knockout competition played by 64 association football teams, representing all 26 Brazilian states plus the Federal District...

 and State Championships.

The city is also home to América Mineiro, which has its own playing field, the Independência Stadium. It was a major team in Brazil decades ago, but passed three years striving to leave Brazilian League Série C
Campeonato Brasileiro Série C
The Campeonato Brasileiro Série C is the third division of Brazilian football.Unlike the first and second divisions, the Série C is not played in a double round robin system, arguably because many participating teams lack the financial conditions to travel long distances...

. Things came worse at the beginning of 2007. The team was relegated to the Módulo II of Campeonato Mineiro
Campeonato Mineiro
Campeonato Mineiro is the state football league of the state of Minas Gerais and is controlled by the Minas Gerais Football Federation FMF ....

, for the first time in its history and did not even qualify for playing the Série C, being completely out of Campeonato Brasileiro in 2008. It was 15 times state champion (ten of then in a row), the last was in 2001, also won the National League
Campeonato Brasileiro Série B
The Série B is the second division of Brazilian football. It is played by 20 teams. However, the competition format has changed almost every year since it first occurred, in 1971. In some years, it was not played altogether...

 second division in 1997 and the Sul-Minas Cup
Copa Sul-Minas
Copa Sul-Minas was a Brazilian football competition contested between South region and Minas Gerais state teams.From 2000 to 2002, the Copa Sul-Minas champions granted qualification to the Copa dos Campeões....

 in 2000. The club is playing Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A
The Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Série A , popularly known as the Brasileirão , is a professional football league at the top of the Brazilian football league system held annually since 1959. Contested by twenty clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Série B...

.

Besides football, Belo Horizonte has one of the largest attendances at volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 matches in the whole country. Crowds usually go to Mineirinho in order to watch either the Brazil national volleyball team or Minas Tênis Clube
Minas Tênis Clube (Volleyball)
Minas Tênis Clube is a Brazilian volleyball team from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais; who represent the Multisport Club from the same name in the Superliga Brasileira de Voleibol under the name Usiminas/Minas.-Titles:...

 matches.

Minas Tênis Clube is a sport association with various modalities, and its volleyball team has some of the most advanced training facilities in the country. Besides Mineirinho, the clubs also plays on its own ground, the modern Vivo Arena. Both its male and female volleyball teams have already won the Brazilian Superleague of Volleyball
Superliga Brasileira de Voleibol
The Superliga Brasileira de Voleibol is the top level Brazilian volleyball competition and it is organized by the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation. There are both men's and women's competitions...

 titles.

Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

 is one of the 12 chosen cities to host games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, that will be hosted by Brazil.

Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

 is also one of the cities chosen to co-host the Soccer Games of the 2016 Olympic Games that will be held in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

 and Salvador
Salvador, Bahia
Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first...

 are the other cities chosen to host the Soccer Games.

Flag


The flag of the state of Minas Gerais is the oldest one adopted in Brazil that was devised by Brazilians. It was remembered by the Republican Party, which opposed the Brazilian Imperial Government
Brazilian Empire
The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II, both members of the House of Braganza—a...

, and adopted unofficially as the flag of the state. It has been the official state flag since 1946.

The flag's Latin inscription, "Libertas quæ sera tamen", is the motto of the "Inconfidencia Mineira," which fought for Brazilian independence from Portugal. It means "Freedom albeit late". It is taken from Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

's Eclogues, Eclogue 1. The triangle is said to represent God as a Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 and the three ideals of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, but as Masons influenced independence movements throughout America, the geometric figure on the flag is a clear homage to them. The colors were chosen for their revolutionary meaning: white represents the desire to forming a peaceful nation, discarding all colonial institutions, and red symbolises the flame of liberty and/or the blood of Inconfidencia martyrs, such as Tiradentes, or "The Dentist" revolutionary.

Cities




In spite of not being the largest state of Brazil, Minas Gerais has the largest number of cities. Of the more than 5,500 municipalities in the country, Minas has 853 of them, a fact explained by the number of inhabitants and by the vast territory (larger than Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

)
. The most notable cities are: the capital Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

, Betim
Betim
Betim is a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located at around . The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitan of Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte....

, Juiz de Fora
Juiz de Fora
-Industry, Trade, and Culture:Juiz de Fora is the second most important industrial center in the state of Minas Gerais, despite being the fourth largest in terms of population. It was once the state's largest city, position which was held up until the beginning of the 20th century...

, Muriae
Muriaé
Muriaé is a city and municipality in southeast Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It is located in the Zona da Mata region and its population in 2009 was approximately 99.628 inhabitants.-Important Facts:*Municipal Limits...

, Montes Claros
Montes Claros
Montes Claros is a city located in northern Minas Gerais state, in Brazil. The estimated population in 2010 was 412,284 inhabitants and the total area of the municipality was 3,470 km²...

, Uberlândia
Uberlândia
Uberlândia is the main town in the Triangle region, west of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. With a population of 604,013 inhabitants, according to 2010 estimates, the city is the second largest in the state second only to Belo Horizonte...

, Governador Valadares
Governador Valadares
Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants.It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the...

, Ipatinga
Ipatinga
Ipatinga is a city and municipality located in eastern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The city was founded in 1962 and covers a total area of 166.5 km². Its population is 240,338 . It is part of the Vale do Aço Metropolitan Area .Ipatinga is located at the site where the Piracicaba River flows into...

, Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas
Poços de Caldas is a city and municipality in south-western Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the microregion of the same name. Its estimated population in 2009 was 151,449 inhabitants...

, Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas
Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

, Uberaba
Uberaba
Uberaba is a city and municipality in the west of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Its population is 296.000 with an area of 4529.7 km², giving a density of 60.71 people per km². It is located on a plateau at an elevation of 785 meters and is in the Uberaba River floodplain...

, Patos de Minas
Patos de Minas
Patos de Minas is a city and municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, located some 400 km from Belo Horizonte on the Paranaíba River. The city had 133,054 in 2007 while the area of the municipality is 3,189 km²...

, Divinópolis
Divinópolis
Divinópolis is a city and municipality located in the centre-west of Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The estimated population in 2007 was 201,921 inhabitants. The total area of the municipality is 709 km² and the elevation is 712 metres. It is located at 120 km from state capital Belo Horizonte...

, Itaúna
Itaúna
Itaúna is a town and municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in the Southeast region of Brazil.-References:...

, Cataguases
Cataguases
Cataguases is a city located in the southeastern part of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is mainly an industrial centre with a strong influence of coffee plantation in its early history . The population was estimated at about 62,000 inhabitants in 1996 and is expected to be at about 66,000...

 and Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

.

Further reading

  • Cheney, Glenn Alan, Journey on the Estrada Real: Encounters in the Mountains of Brazil, (Chicago: Academy Chicago, 2004) ISBN 0-89733-530-9

External links


Official website Images of Minas Gerais Administrative Center/City