The bright colors of the colonial mansions of Tiradentes, in Minas Gerais enchants its visitors at the very entrance. At the foot of Serra de São José, the city preserves the history and architecture of the 18th century in every building, church and in its bucolic sceneries, which makes Tiradentes one of the most charming destinations in Minas Gerais (where there are charming destinations to spare).
It’s easy to fall in love with the calm and elegance of the city, especially after experiencing one of the best attractions in the region: the gastronomy! Tiradentes goes beyond historical tourism and attracts more and more visitors every day in search of an excellent culinary repertoire. Refined, delicate and enchanting, the city of Tiradentes has everything to win visitors over.
A little piece Tiradentes historic background
The region of Tiradentes holds the history of the gold cycle in Minas Gerais. An integral part of the Estrada Real circuit, Tiradentes began to attract explorers from 1702 onwards, with the discovery of precious metals at the foot of the Serra de São José, at the Rio das Mortes [Deaths river]. At the time, the place was named Arraial de Santo Antônio, later changing to Vila São José, São José Del Rei and São José do Rio das Mortes.
The region was marked by the intense presence of revolutionaries. The Inconfidência Mineira movement gained strength in the city, which still keeps memories of the time. One of them is the Casa de Padre Toledo, where secret meetings between the revolutionaries took place.
With the fall of the gold cycle and the Proclamation of the Republic, the city received the name of Tiradentes in 1889, in honor of the great revolutionary born in the region, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes. Today, Tiradentes is listed by the Brazilian National Historic and Artistic Heritage and is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved historic destinations in the country.
What to do in Tiradentes
Each passing day, the city attracts more visitors in search of quiet days combined with elegant and refined inns and unforgettable culinary menus. Unlike Ouro Preto, Tiradentes is not the place where visitors must check dozens of tourist attractions. In Tiradentes, the best thing to do is to enjoy the city little by little, taking delightful walks through the cobbled streets, always in search of a new beautiful scenery.
At the top of the historic center, the Matriz de Santo Antônio church is the best-known postcard of the city. It was built in the early 18th century, during the gold cycle, when Tiradentes still went by the name of Vila de São José do Rio das Mortes. Decades later, the church gained a new façade, designed by the famous Aleijadinho.
As in the other baroque churches in Minas Gerais, looking from the outside, it is not possible to foresee the richness of ornamentation inside the matrix. On Friday and Saturday nights, if there is no wedding scheduled, organ concerts take place — an 18th-century relic, brought from Portugal, and still in use. Arrive early to watch the narrated script, which tells the story of the church using light and sound.
Other attractions will come across and draw attention in an uncompromising way. Among them, the Casa Padre Toledo Museum, the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church and the Sant’Ana Museum, formerly the city jail. Choose comfortable shoes to walk along the stone slopes or take a classic horse-drawn carriage ride. The most important thing in Tiradentes is never be in a hurry.
An invitation to enjoy the art of strolling, Tiradentes is a destination for those who seek the small pleasures of life. Sit in the shade of Largo das Forras, enjoy the scenery of the Chafariz de São José and marvel at all the beautiful art, handicraft and rustic furniture stores in the region. It is even worth a visit to the neighboring Bichinho. Always with a pit stop to taste pastries, cheeses and innovative local menus.
A visit to the region would not be complete without a visit to São João del Rei, a city that shares the same story as Tiradentes MG. You can go there by car or bus, but the best thing is complete your trip back to the past on a delicious ride on a Maria Fumaça, one of the few steam engines in the world that still runs on rails for 12 km.
The best of gastronomy in Tiradentes
Small in size and population, Tiradentes is generous when it comes to good food, specially the local menu, since the city has the best set of good specialty addresses. In the Historic Center, Estalagem do Sabor serves generously sized dishes; on the outskirts of Centro, Virada’s do Largo has one of the best sausages in the country – both restaurants have their own vegetable garden.
On the way to Bichinho, Pau de Angu operates in a bucolic place full of animals on the lawn. Already in the middle of the village of Bichinho, the audience champion is the hearty and tasty buffet at Tempero da Ângela.
But not only Minas Gerais food lives Tiradentes. At Angatu, chef Rodolfo Mayer enhances his recipes with Brazilian ingredients. Close by, Atrás da Matriz serves codfish and pizza as its flagships. Guinea fowl is one of the stars of the menu at the romantic Tragaluz. At last, but not least, the trendy Uai Thai mixes Thai and Minas cuisine.
The best time to go to Tiradentes
Tiradentes is the typical destination that attracts tourists on weekends. From Friday to Sunday, the city is always lively. Commerce and restaurants work at full steam and inns are always more disputed.
The city also tends to attract a large public on holidays, especially the end of year festivities, Carnival, Holy Week and Corpus Christi. One day added to Saturday and Sunday is enough for the movement in the historic streets to multiply. Not to mention the school holidays, which also bring many visitors to the region.
The best period of the year for a trip to Tiradentes is from April to September.
GT DMC works with the best local partners to offer an unforgettable itinerary in Tiradentes. If the purpose of your incentive trip is to offer moments of tranquility and beauties with stories to enchant, Tiradentes is your right destination in Brazil. Visit www.gotogetherdmc.com and talk to our travel experts.