Most of us, nowadays, don’t have the luxury of daily contact with wildlife. The wildlife I have the pleasure to be in contact with are insects, hedgehogs and foxes from time to time and ducks, lots of ducks. That’s because I live in England. My father, on the other hand, lives in Brazil and the wildlife outside his house are monkeys, toucans, parrots, canaries and snakes… much more interesting, right? Well, we appreciate what we have, I guess! And I love my bees and ladybirds!
That’s my dad at the bottom picture, by the way!
A while a ago, 8 years in fact, I decided to draw the church of the small village of Ubari. The church was finished in 1959 and the master builder was my paternal grandfather. Quite special, I must say! It makes even more special that the first wedding held at the church was my maternal grandparents’. My grandfather used to take my then 9-month old father to the top of the tower while he worked in a small basket and used to hoist him up… can’t imagine really how that went! On my dad’s 50th birthday, I decided to attempt a drawing of the church to give to him… well, let me know what you think!
What is there to say about Ouro Preto! Incredible is not enough to describe the warmth and how welcoming the place is. It was built during 18th century’s gold rush and an once thriving mining town, it is now home to one of Brazil’s best universities, UFOP. It is very much an university town, so they really know how to party! Its “republics” (student homes with their own laws) are the greatest source of fun and getting to know people.
Back in the day, not only in Brazil, but in many other places, there were botherhoods, usually the rich, that were devoted to a particular saint. Their way to show off their wealth was to build churches! One group built a beautiful church full of gold and art? The next would try to build it bigger and brighter! Once you arrive in the town, you can clearly see the churches dominating the skyline. It is home to the second richest church in Brazil, the Matriz do Pilar, with around 450Kg of gold decorating its altar.
During the late 18th century, the world was home to many revolutions: The French Revolution, American Revolution… Brazil was not different. One of the main revolutions, the Inconfidencia Mineira, took place mainly in Ouro Preto and brought forward one of the main Brazilian heroes, Tiradentes. He fought for brazilian independence and was hanged by the portuguese for it, in the main square of the town (The picture below used to be the prison where he was held., at Tiradentes Square). A little grim piece of history, but illustrates a little more about the place.
The town is, together with Congonhas, Mariana, Tiradentes, Sao Joao Del Rey and Sabara, the best examples of Brazilian Baroque art and architecture in the country.