Barreiro

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The major touristic attractions of Araxa are located in Barreiro. The name "Barreiro" ("clay pit") originated from the mud left by the water of the mineral springs where the mineral salt accumulated on the rocks attracted the cattle brougth up for the first colonizers.

Situated in a place of volcanic features where circa eighty million years ago deep geological transformations took place, Barreiro is surrounded by green slopes and an exuberant landscape.


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Grande Hotel

Opened in 1944 by governor Benedito Valadares and President Vargas, the Hotel initiated an era of
splendor to Araxa and the inland region of the state and it was the stage for huge social, political and cultural events.
The architecture is impressive for the magnitude of the complex, built under the Missions style influence and with approximately 33,000 m2 of built area.
The grand saloon is coated with Carrara marble, finely decorated with rich furniture and having Bohemian crystal chandeliers, French bevel-edged glass windows and masterpieces in frescos and stained glasses windows.


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Thermal Complex

The Thermal Complex is linked to the Grande Hotel by a suspended gallery decorated with frescos of landscapes of the main touristic places of   Minas Gerais.
In the foyer of the main entrance there is a rotunda in stained glasses showing epic pieces of the history of Minas Gerais. On the walls around the hall the history of the colonization of Araxa is displayed and on the second floor, sustained by marble columns, the history of the several baths throughout the centuries is showed.




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The indoor radioactive water pool is indicated for relaxation and therapies to rehabilitate motor functions.
The radioactive and sulphurous baths, in individual bathtubs, take advantage of the properties of the waters and associate the heat providing thus a relaxation of the muscles and sedating the nervous system besides improving the general blood circulation and treating the skin.
The sulphurous bath has emollient, relaxing and revitalizing properties and is indicated for embellishment and treatment of rheumatic and dermatologic troubles.



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ANDRADE JUNIOR SPRING

One of the water springs is called Andrade Junior Spring and spurts alkaline-sulphurous water which is used in Medicine for treatment of : diabetes, obesity, gastric , rheumatologic, urological and hepatic troubles.
It is situated close to the main entrance to Barreiro.


Around the spring there is a pond where the sulphurous mud is decanted for use in the soap and cosmetic industry as well as in the health and skin treatments in the Thermal Complex.

Beside there is an exhibition of pre historic fossils found during excavations to build up the hotel.

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DONA BEJA SPRING

On the other side is the Dona Beja Spring , which spurts radioactive water, which bursts from volcanic rocks through drinking fountains and to the douche opposite the street, one level below. The radioactive water is good to improve the metabolism and to stimulate diuretic absorption, acting as a disintoxicating and hypotensive agent for the body.


The douche causes a healthy and reinvigorating massage.

Above the spring there is a terrace which allows a wonderful view of the whole landscape of  Barreiro.

Opposite the spring there is a handicraft fair where the locals sell pieces of crafts and typical food.

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HOTEL RADIO RUINS

Hotel Radio is the oldest building in Barreiro and hosted many
important guests (mostly politicians and influent people).
Its ruins were transformed into a recreational park with many
natural attractions.


In Town

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DONA BEJA MUSEUM

Named after Ana Jacinta de São José, a mythological figure, (see note below) it is located in City Centre, in a two-storey 19th century house, where she lived and is said to have received many important personalities for her famous evening concerts and meetings.
The asset has about 300 pieces of furniture, objects and sacred images of the 19th century, canvas of renowned Brazilian and local artists, historical documents and clothing.

Address: Praça Coronel Adolfo 98
Visiting Hours: Wednesday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (also on holidays)

(*) ANA JACINTA DE SÃO JOSÉ

Ana Jacinta de São José , known by the name "Dona Beja" although born in Paracatu, spent most of her life in
Araxá and passed over in 1873 in Formiga.
She is said to have been kidnapped by the tax auditor of the Portuguese Crown Inácio Silveira da Mota whom
she then lived with. In doing so she conquered a lot of prestige with the Imperial politicians.
She reached an outstanding position in society at a time characterized by female submission.
"Dona Beja" assumed attitudes considered typical of men only, such as require the public authorities to do their
duties , to make use of the justice, to buy, sell and build up real property or take part in local political movements,
like the 1842 Revolution when the liberals and conservatives contended for power.
She is among the big myths in the history of Minas Gerais State.


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Sacrosanct Saint Sebastian Museum:

The museum houses objects, sacred images and barroque sculptures of Bento Antonio da Boa Morte, a famous baroque sculptor.

Address: av. Vereador João Sena S/N
Visiting Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(also on holidays)


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Calmon Barreto Museum:

This museum is considered the biggest one housing the asset of an unique artist. There is a permanent exhibition of the famous local artist Calmon Barreto known internationally as engraver, painter, sculptor and story writer.

Address: Rua Franklin de Castro 160
Visiting Hours: Wed. to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (also on holidays)





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Cultural Foundation Calmon Barreto

The old Railway Station houses the Entity responsible for the keeping of the cultural asset of the town and its historic memoir: from the genuine weaving art to the several artistic displays.
It has a rich documentary and photografic asset which is an important source of information and historical research, not only for the town but also for the region.

Address: Praça Arthur Bernardes 10
Visiting Hours: Monday to Friday, from 8 to 11.00a.m. and from 1 to 6 p.m.



Outside the Town

Around the town there are several natural pools, cascades and waterfalls. There are also many places where one
can practice trailbike, trekking, go riding on horseback and rafting.

The local tourism agencies can arrange for a guided tour to some old farms in the region.

25km away from Araxa, following the direction to Tapira, is "Morro do Horizonte Perdido" where people practice
radical sports like hanggliding and paragliding and where every year professional tournments take place.
Its slopes are also suitable for climbing and rappeling .

There are also tracks and waterfalls for ecological strolls and refreshing baths and dives.

In the nearby town of  Sacramento there are many waterfalls, lakes and a cave and in Peiropolis, a small village close
to Uberaba, there is a paleontological site displaying fossil remains and dinosaur replica.

Some 100 km away from Araxa is the Serra da Canastra National Park , where the nascent of Sao Francisco River,
one of the biggest rivers in the country, is.

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