São João del-Rei

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São João del-Rei
Coordinates: 21 ° 9 ′  S , 44 ° 16 ′  W
Map: Brazil
São João del-Rei
Sao Joao del Rei on the map of Brazil
Basic data
Country Brazil
State Minas Gerais
City foundation Divergence of foundation dates: 1701, 1704, 1705
Residents 81,918  (2007)
City insignia
Brasao sao joao del rei.png
Flag of None.svg
Detailed data
height 898  m
Time zone UTC −3
City Presidency Sidney Antônio de Sousa
Sao Francisco de Assis Church (1774)
Sao Francisco de Assis Church (1774)

São João del-Rei is a city and a municipality in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais . It is around 900 meters above sea level and has a population of around 80,000 inhabitants on an area of ​​around 1,400 km². The historic city is 185 kilometers from Belo Horizonte at the foot of the Serra do Lenheiro. São João del Rei is halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. It is the southernmost of the baroque cities .

The place lives from mining and industry as well as from tourism. It is the starting point of the railway line to Tiradentes (Minas Gerais) , which is called "Maria Fumaça". The city's best-known son was the first democratically elected Brazilian president after the military dictatorship in 1985, Tancredo Neves , who was never able to take office due to a serious illness and rapid death († April 21, 1985).

The historic old town with numerous sights is a listed building.


On October 12, 1708, in São João del Rei , the bandeirante Manuel Borba Gato signed an expulsion of the Portuguese cattle breeder and would-be gold prospector Nunes Viana from the territory of Minas Gerais, triggering the first civil war in Brazilian colonial history, called Guerra dos Emboabas (1708 -1710).

The Bandeirantes and other pioneers from São Paulo, who discovered the first gold in Minas Gerais, claimed the administration of the mines for themselves and, as born Brazilians, particularly meant the noble-born Portuguese, who had the best benefices with their nobility sought to secure. The Bandeirantes disparagingly called them "Emboabas". That designated Nunes Viana, a wealthy large landowner from Bahia , put himself at the head of those who had also been driven out of the mining areas, or who had been denied access, and there were not a few. Following the example of Borba Gato, a front was made against the "Emboabas" in all the mining areas of Minas, and this uprising escalated into the first war between the Brazilian and the Portuguese citizens and nobles.

The region around today's São João del-Rei was called at that time "Arraial Novo do Rio das Mortes" (named after the river that crosses the place). The greatest drama of the Emboaba War took place on the banks of this river: the followers of the noble ruler Nunes Viana attacked the Bandeirantes and Paulistas surprisingly during their prospecting work in the river and killed them. The story speaks of 300 dead who floated down the river. This happened in January 1709 . Only with the new governor António de Albuquerque Coelho de Carvalho succeeded in restoring civil peace in 1710. In 1713 São João del-Rei was named in honor of King John V of Portugal.

Diocese of São João del-Rei

Historical buildings

  • In 1721 the first church was built for the victims of the Emboaba War, today the Catedral Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Pilar
  • São João del-Rei, 1957.
    In 1774, the disabled artist Aleijadinho was given the opportunity to demonstrate his skills on the facade of the São Francisco de Assis church . It became one of his great works, with many creative details unique documents of this idiosyncratic genius.
  • Historic stone bridges over the Corrego do Lenheiro River from the 18th century (such as the Ponte da Cadeia prison bridge )
  • 1732 the church Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo , with an unfinished Christ in the sacristy, whose artist is unknown.
  • The historic Mina de Ouro Tancredo Neves is a narrow crevice that cuts 53 meters into a rock. Aside from the breathtaking descent, this gold mine is an interesting example of the local mining techniques and very impressive.

Sons and daughters

Web links