On the 6th of June we left Sao Joao Del Rei and head northeast towards the historic town of Ouro Preto. The first small town we passed through was Entre Rios de Minas.
The next city on the way to Ouro Preto was "Congonhas do Campo". This place is not a tourist destination. It was a little rough around the edges, but we had 4 "Then and Now's" from Congonhas. This Basilica had 12 sculptures which were like no other church we have seen! And it sat on a hill top over looking the city!
I do not know why, but this is one of my favorite pictures. I love all types of palm trees.
The first "Then and Now" was of the Basilica of Congonhas. It was fairly easy to find, as it sat on the top of a hill overlooking the city. It was from the 1939 book, "Travel in Brazil".
From the same book of 1939, were pictures of the "Capelas dos Passos da Paix„o de Cristo", which sat directly below the Basilica. I need to do some homework and figure out exactly what these were, and why they are there. We felt a bit unsafe here, so we tried to get in and out quickly.
Now I am totally confused. Regarding the one tall palm tree, as I look at the "Then and Now's" more closely (above)....... The palm tree looks like a different type of palm tree. The "Old" palm looks like a "Feather Leaf" palm and the "New" palm is a "Fan Leaf" palm. But the new palm must have been planted in the exact same spot!
Again, from 1939, this was a picture of the Basilica from nearly a mile away. Very frustrating, as Sandy and I went up and down every street in the hills of Congonhas, from where this picture was taken, but there was too much change, and the original buildings in the near field of the photo where not located, or they do not exist. We took nearly 50 pictures from all over the hill, and this was probably where the original was taken from, but the buildings are all different, except the Basilica. Notice the tall palm trees near the Basilica, in the old and new photograph.
From Vera Kelsey's book of 1940, "Seven Keys of Brazil", we had this picture of the back side of the Basilica.
Replicating this picture was very frustrating, as it was obviously shot through a "doorway".
After taking the four "Then and Now's" in Congonhas, we finished the days ride to the historic city of Ouro Preto. Our first impression was "Beautiful City" ruined by "Tourism". Every 30 seconds somebody would step in front of the motorcycle and try and "Hawk" a hotel room, or jewelry store, or restaurant, or a tour guide. It was very frustrating to visit 8 hotels (with a guide that told us he knew where there was a room that was available), and they had no rooms available. We finally told him to get lost (well, maybe not quit that nice), and we went to the Grande Hotel of Ouro Preto. More on that later.
I do like "Modern" architecture. But it has it's place, and in the middle of Ouro Preto, a large hotel that looks like it was built in the 1960's looked out of place. But we needed a room, so Sandy went in and they said they had "One" suite available. It was a 2 story, 3 bedroom suite. I was upset at first, but it was better then sleeping in the streets. When I entered the hotel, I discovered that it was a "Oscar Niemeyer" building. The most famous architect in all of Brazil! And this building was not built in the 1960's, but in 1935! It was one of the first buildings designed by Oscar. You either "Love or Hate" Oscar Niemeyer's bold, cold and modern designs. The fact that this building was designed and built more than 30 years before this style became popular really highlighted to me how much ahead of his time Oscar was!
This is the Grande Hotel. On the left side of the hotel, on the patio shown here, is where we had breakfast every morning.
Our room was on the far right side of the hotel. (Grande Hotel (Ouro Preto))
This next picture was taken directly from our balcony.
The main building in the lower part of the picture is now a museum.
The building use to be a "mint" (Casa dos Contos).
As we followed the procession we found some of the "Then and Now" locations.
The church behind Sandy has over 900 pounds of Gold Leaf!
What was really neat about this procession, is Sandy and I seemed like the only tourist, which makes watching the event something very special!
Nearly every balcony had a "local" watching the parade. Note, again, the quilts.
She seemed sincerely moved by the parade.....
There were many "Angels" in Ouro Preto!
I will continue with the Then and Now's of Ouro Preto on "Brazil 17".
For "Brazil 15" hit the "Back Button"..... For "Brazil 17" hit the "Next Button"....