advertisement

The list of attractions may seem small, but that's because the town itself is the main attraction. The only way to experience Tiradentes is on foot, getting lost in the little streets, absorbing the breathtaking architecture.

A Stroll Around Town

Start at the Largo das Forras, the large tree-lined square in the center of town. This is where the tourist office is located (daily 9am-5:30pm) and where, if you really don't want to hoof it, you can hire a buggy and horse to do the hoofing for you (R$15 for a 45-min. tour). Walk to the corner next to the tourism office, and you'll see the beautifully restored post office. Continuing up that street (Rua Resende Costas) you start to climb a bit, and soon to the right you will be able to catch breathtaking views of the Serra de São José. Stay on the street (now renamed Rua Direita) until you come to the N.S. do Rosário dos Pretos on your right. The oldest church in town, it was built entirely by Tiradentes's slave community. It's definitely worth a peek inside. The stars and moon painted on the ceiling refer to the fact that most of the construction had to be done at night, after the enslaved had completed their forced labor. The individually painted wooden panels on the ceiling represent the mysteries of the rosary. From here, instead of continuing up along Rua Direita, duck into the alley behind the church, and it will lead to the Largo do Sol and Museu de Padre Toledo. One of the inconfidentes, Padre Toledo lived in this house until he was arrested and exiled to Lisbon. The museum, unfortunately, doesn't tell much of the padre's story; instead, it's mostly a mishmash of furniture, paintings, oratories, and household objects. Stay on the Rua Padre Toledo as it leads up the hill to the Matriz de Santo Antônio church . Take the street to the right of the Matriz and continue farther up the hill to the church of Santissima Trinidade. This church stands out for its simplicity: no fancy ornaments, no gold, not even a clock tower. But for an over-the-top display of faith, look no further than the room of miracles around the back of the church. The place where the faithful give thanks for cures and interventions is packed from top to bottom with letters, photos, wax and plastic body parts, and every piece of orthopedic equipment imaginable. Right next door is the holy shop of saints where you can purchase a statue of just about any saint in the calendar. Retrace your steps down the hill and continue past the Matriz to the charming little Largo do O. Beyond that, just across the bridge is the large Chafariz de São José where residents used to obtain their water. Walking back toward the main Largo das Forras along the Rua Direita will take you through Tiradentes's gallery row. Many artists live and work here; painters, furniture makers, silversmiths, and craftspeople make high-quality pieces at reasonable prices. Typical souvenirs include locally made cachaça, sweets and preserves, silver jewelry, paintings, and quilts and rugs.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.