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2006 Brasil
More than 18 years after I left Brazil as a kid, I returned to this wonderful country for the very first time. This gallery contains images from colonial cities (Diamantina, Sabará, Ouro Preto, São João del Rey, Congonhas do Campo, Tiradentes and Mariana in the state of Minas Gerais, Paratí in the state of Rio de Janeiro), some beautiful caves (Gruta Rei do Mato, Gruta do Maquiné in Minas Gerais), and some views from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Gruta Rei do Mato
Gruta Rei do Mato (King of the Jungle cavern)  |  Total images: 17  |  Date added: 15.02.2007
This famous cavern near the city of Sete Lagoas (62km from Belo Horizonte) has a known length of about 1km, of which 220m are open for visits. This cavern consists of 4 main ‘rooms’: Salão do couve-flor (cauliflower room), Blocos desabados (fallen boulders), Salão principal (main room), and Salão das raridades (room of rarities).
Gruta do Maquiné
Gruta do Maquiné (Maquiné Cavern)  |  Total images: 39  |  Date added: 16.02.2007
The Maquiné cavern near Cordisburgo (Minas Gerais) has been carved from limestone by the force of water over millennia. Most chambers and galleries stay almost at the same level, as opposed to the Rei do Mato cavern in Sete Lagoas. The immense galleries host numerous formations that seem to portray large animals in a timeless scenery. This cavern has been discovered in 1825 by the Portuguese Joaquim Maria do Maquiné, and was studied from 1834 onwards by the Danish researcher Peter Wilhelm Lund. The Maquiné cavern is considered among the most beautiful on the planet.
Diamantina  |  Total images: 35  |  Date added: 20.02.2007
The native inhabitants of the town named Arraial do Tijuco used to play with shiny stones found in the mud of a neighbouring river. What they didn't know is that they were playing with diamonds. The town was renamed to Vila de Diamantina in 1831, and it was the main source of diamonds for the Portuguese crown until Brazil's independence. Diamantina produced more than 3 million carats of precious diamonds in 100 years.
Sabará  |  Total images: 25  |  Date added: 21.02.2007
Sabará is one of the important colonial cities of Minas Gerais. Its original name was Vila Real de Nossa Senhora da Conceição do Sabará. Sabará lies at 17km from Belo Horizonte, at the confluence of the Sabará river and the rio das Velhas. Modern Sabará consists of the old (colonial) city and the new city. Its most well-known colonial epoch building is the Nossa Senhora do Ó church.
Congonhas do Campo - Igreja Bom Jesus dos Matosinhos
Congonhas do Campo - Igreja Bom Jesus dos Matosinhos  |  Total images: 56  |  Date added: 25.02.2007
Congonhas do Campo (now Congonhas) contains the showpiece of Aleijadinho (the little cripple), as Antônio Francisco Lisboa (1730-1814) was known. He most likely suffered from Porphyria, disease which caused him to ask for a number of amputatins in order to continue working on his works of art. The church of Bom Jesus dos Matosinhos contains a representation in polychromic wood of the entire Via Crucis, hosted in 7 chapels. The church is adorned with steatite statues of the 12 Prophets from the Old Testament.