Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Beautiful Day in Mariana

I posted some pictures back in March of our first trip to Mariana (the oldest town in Minas Gerais, founded in 1696). We had hazy overcast weather that day though. So when we had beautiful blue skies on Saturday, I had to take some more pictures and share them!

Mariana was the original capital of Minas Gerais so their main town square (in the historic part of town) includes two churches and the government building from the 1700's.

The old statue of justice and punishment (my name, not the official one) where public beatings and such were held is in the square too.

After I left him here an hour, his attitude was much improved.

Hehehe Just kiddin'! ;)

But seriously, is this not the most beautiful setting? I am really loving Minas Gerais these days (even despite the lack of beachfront!)

These next two were taken from inside the old capital building. It was open for touring this time!

This room is where they still hold Mariana city government meetings. I'm not sure if everything is original, but it certainly feels like it is!

This is a really unique church on the edge of Mariana. It is very different from the rest of the churches in the area, but the simple elegance of the all soapstone and wood construction is almost refreshing after the bordering-on-gaudy-goldness of the other churches' interiors! They actually let us take pictures inside of this one too!

You can't really tell in my photographs, but the woodwork was quite detailed and absolutely gorgeous!

We all know arches are self supporting, right? Well here's proof! No mortar holding these babies together: just the stone and then some wood in the joints. (This is a detailed view of the arch above.)

We were both intrigued by the gigantic rooster carved from wood up in the front of the church. My first inclination was that Atlético Mineiro futebol fans added it years after the original construction, but I suppose maybe there is a Catholic reason for the giant rooster idol.

You can really see how rounded the building is from this view.

Eric and Carl decided to climb on up to the bell tower.

Next time we go to Mariana, it is going to be when we can catch this organ concert! It is supposed to be incredible, and the history behind this organ is really interesting! (History to be told after I go visit!)

A view of Mariana from the stone church's window. (I'm sorry I don't remember the name of this church.)


Justin said...

The architecture and woodwork in that old church is just exquisite. It's amazing to think how many skilled craftsman they had to have in Brazil so long ago to make buildings like that!

wondering ego said...

Ermmm... Emily, a decorative piece in baroque churches or any other catholic churches, like the rooster you saw, its not an "idol" or an icon, its just decorative and may be associated with the rooster singing for St Peter (remember, 3 x? etc...), not to be worshiped or reverenced.