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Mariana, a small town 10 km from Ouro Preto, was the first capital of Minas Gerais. Mariana was supposed to be smaller then Ouro Preto, but to me it actually felt bigger, more of a real city. There were three churches clustered right next to each other, and a few more some distance away. We were tired by then and it was hot, so we ended up only looking at whatever was close.

One of the churches in Mariana allowed photography, so I took the opportunity. Unfortunately, this church, probably from the time when the gold was running out, does not represent the gilt-it-all approach that the region is famous for. There is still plenty of gold, but it’s incomparable with some of the others.

The nave of the church is made of wood and painted, as seems to be very common in Brazil. In a different church they told us that to restore the ceiling they take the planks of wood down, restore them individually, then put them back.

The floor is covered with numbers. We were told that you were supposed to buy a number, which then marked where you got to stand during the sermon. The saint is dressed as in all churches in Ouro Preto and Mariana. They told us that they only have faces and hands attached to a wooden skeleton, covered with real clothes. Those saints that didn’t have a head peace covering their hair had real human hair.