Located in the central region of Minas Gerais, the city of Ouro Preto brings together the largest and most important collection of architecture and art from the colonial period in Brazil. In the middle of the 17th and 18th century houses built on the slopes of a mountainous region, 13 monumental churches are erected, with altars bathed in gold and sacred images, in Baroque and Rococo styles. Due to its importance and conservation, Ouro Preto was one of the first cities chosen in the world to be a World Heritage Site, in 1980, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
Its origin dates from the last decade of the 17th century, with the discovery of stones containing gold on the bottom of a creek: a fact that attracted hundreds of São Paulo pioneers and made the region rich for almost a century. In appearance, they were stones with a dark surface; hence, the name Ouro Preto. After melting, they became yellow.
Walking through the city's historic narrow streets can reveal relevant part of the history and culture of Minas Gerais and Brazil. Going up and down the slopes of the city while enjoying the views of three-hundred-year-old houses, churches, monuments, shops and fairs is an unmissable experience. The gastronomy of Minas Gerais is also another chapter in this storyline that needs to be highlighted.
The municipality of Ouro Preto is endowed with natural beauty: a mountainous region with beautiful valleys, waterfalls, springs and viewpoints. Visitors can visit some districts that maintain their traditions, gastronomy and festivities associated with the times of the gold cycle. The parks, with their mountains and valleys, are another invitation to a walk, to experience beautiful landscapes and bathing in waterfalls. A highlight is Parque do Itacolomi, where Pico do Itacolomi is located, with 1,722 m, which can be visited through a trail that leads to its summit.
For all these historical, artistic, cultural and natural attractions that the city of Ouro Preto transforms all your stay in historical days.
The Augusto Barbosa Metallurgical Park was created in 1946 to carry out academic activities at the National School of Mines and Metallurgy, in Ouro Preto. The construction of this structure, which remained in operation until the mid-1960s, increased the services offered to industries in the region. In 1969, the place became part of the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP). The preserved buildings were transformed into important sites for social, cultural, economic and artistic integration.
In order to stimulate tourism and scientific and cultural activities in Ouro Preto, UFOP decided, in 1993, to transform the Metallurgical Park into a place destined to receive conventions and events. Thus, the process of implanting the Center for Arts and Conventions began. Each room was named after a historic city in Minas Gerais: Ouro Preto, Mariana, Diamantina, Congonhas, Tiradentes, São João Del Rei and Sabará.
Inaugurated on March 21, 2001, the UFOP Center of Arts and Conventions has become a reference for conventions in Minas Gerais, having the capacity and structure to host national and international events, generate resources and enhance the economy and regional tourism.
In 2003, the Augusto Barbosa Metallurgical Park received the Jacaré de Bronze award, 3rd place in the category of Best Convention and Exhibition Center in the Southeast Region, granted by the Caio Award. In 2006, it was recognized by the International Congress and Convention Association, an entity based in the Netherlands that maps the events that took place in the world, as the place that most hosted international events of the year.
The UFOP Center for Arts and Conventions has a privileged location, in the Historic Center of Ouro Preto, close to the Pilar Church, the University Square, the Railway Station, the City Hall and UFOP main administration buildings.