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Walking Tour of Tiradentes

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Introduction - Chafariz de São José
Walking Tour of Tiradentes

Photo by Ernane Fonseca/ Courtesy of Secretaria de Turismo de Tiradentes

Tiradentes, in Minas Gerais, is one of the best cities in Brazil for sightseeing on foot. Even though the downtown district is open to cars, most people recognize that vehicles are a nuisance both to drivers and pedestrians and leave them outside the most touristic area.

The brief walking tour suggested here can be taken in about two hours, with a quick overview of the stores you will find along the way.

Colonial stone-slab paving can be taxing on your feet. Make sure you wear your most comfortable walking shoes. Wear sunblock and sunglasses and carry a bottle of water.

You can locate the attractions on the small, but helpful interactive map by online guide Tiradentes Gerais.com.

The historical data provided in this tour comes from texts by historian Olinto Rodrigues dos Santos Filho, a member of the Tiradentes Historical and Geographical Institute (Instituto Histórico e Geográfico.

We start our tour at the São José Water Fountain (the Chafariz, pronounced “shafaREEZ”). It was built by the City Council in 1749 and it still brings water directly from a spring in Serra de São José, the mountain range beyond Tiradentes. In colonial times, it served a triple purpose: the front part was meant for fetching water, the right side for washing clothes in and the left side was a drinking trough. Saint Joseph, the patron saint of Vila de São José, original name of Tiradentes, is represented in a central niche above the gargoyle-shaped spouts.

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