Tiradentes, a charming town in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century.
Originally known as São José del Rey, the town played a crucial role during the Brazilian colonial period.
It was a center for gold extraction, attracting prospectors and settlers eager to capitalize on the wealth found in the region.
The town was later renamed Tiradentes in honor of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, a leading figure in the Brazilian independence movement. Known as Tiradentes, he was a key player in the Inconfidência Mineira, a failed attempt to achieve independence from Portuguese rule in 1789. Despite his efforts, Tiradentes was eventually arrested, tried, and executed, becoming a symbol of resistance against colonial oppression.
Today, Tiradentes stands as a beautifully preserved colonial town, showcasing its historical architecture, cobblestone streets, and cultural heritage.
What to see in Tiradentes
Historic Center: Wander through the well-preserved colonial streets, lined with colorful houses and baroque churches, offering a glimpse into the town’s past.
Matriz de Santo Antônio Church: This iconic church, built in the 18th century, is a masterpiece of Brazilian baroque architecture. Its intricate woodwork and detailed decorations make it a must-visit landmark.
Tiradentes Square: The heart of the town, this square is surrounded by colonial buildings and features a bronze statue of Tiradentes in the center, commemorating the town’s historical significance.
Chico Doceiro Museum: Housed in a former chocolate factory, this museum showcases the history of chocolate-making in the region, providing a sweet treat for history enthusiasts.
Maria Fumaça Train Ride: Experience a nostalgic journey on the vintage steam train that connects Tiradentes to São João del Rei, offering scenic views of the countryside.
Getting to Tiradentes
The nearest transport hub is Sao Joao del Rei. There are regular buses between Sao Joao del Rei and Tiradentes that cost about 6 BRL.
If your next step is Ouro Preto, you may want to check Blablacar, as there are a fair amount of drivers offering rides between Sao Joao del Rei and Ouro Preto (or Mariana). There are also some buses.