Minas Gerais

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Brazil - Minais Gerais (Chapter)


Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais is the state with the highest altitude in the country: 57% of its territory lies more than 600 meters above sea level (the Mantiqueira and Espinhaço mountain ranges). The economy is based on industry (textiles, clothing, metallurgy, electric materials, construction, mining, steel-making, processing of non-metallic minerals, agribusiness), ranching, and agriculture. The state occupies an area of 588,383.6 sq. kms., and the capital is Belo Horizonte.


The opening of the region commenced in the 16th century by bands of adventurers looking for gold and precious stones. The first important gold discoveries in 1693 triggered a rush punctuated by clashes, the most serious of which was the Outsiders (“Emboabas”) War, from 1707-10. The captaincy of São Paulo and Gold Mines (“Minas de Ouro”) was created in 1709 and soon after, in 1720, divided into São Paulo and Minas Gerais.

During the first half of the 18th century, the region was the economic center of the colony and underwent rapid population growth. Gold production, however, began to decline around 1750, and Portuguese efforts to increase tax collection led to a popular rebellion, which culminated in the Minas Conspiracy (“Inconfidência Mineira”) in 1789.

In 1833 dissatisfaction with the Regency gave rise to the Restoration Movement, and in 1842 the inhabitants of Minas joined the Liberal Revolution.

In 1927 Minas was the first state to adopt a secret ballot.

In the 20th century Minas Gerais fortified its position as one of the country’s major political and economic forces.

Southeast Region
Belo Horizonte
17,905,134 (IBGE, 2000 Population Census)
GDP 2001:
US$ 35.9 billion (R$ 113.5 billion)
Per capita GDP:
US$ 1,984.46 (R$ 6,261.00)
Number of municipalities:
Representation in the National Legislature:
three senators and 53 federal deputies
Illiteracy rate:
12.2% (2000 Census)
Unemployment rate:
9.0% (IBGE 2002)
Largest cities:
Belo Horizonte (2,238,526), Contagem (538,017), Uberlândia (501,214), Juiz de Fora (456,796), Montes Claros (306,947)
Tropical forest and savannah
Average annual temperature:



After various studies on its characteristics, the flag of the State of Minas Gerais was instituted by law n¡ 2.793, of January 8th,1963.

The Flag consists of a white rectangle, with twenty units of length and fourteen of width, with a red equilateral triangle in the center, that has eight units on each side, presenting on the upper left side, the word "LIBERTAS"; on the upper right side the words "QUAE SERA” and on the bottom, the word "TAMEN", forming in the whole the slogan of the conspiration of Minas Gerais (Inconfidência Mineira).

The form and design of the flag were made on the model idealized by the leaders of the liberation movement, of 1789, which would be adopted by the Republic that they planned to create. According to what is declared by Tiradentes, the triangle reminds the Three Persons of the Trinity.

Pictures of Minas Gerais and its cities...

bh.jpg (78547 bytes)

Belo Horizonte (78K)

formiga.jpg (52838 bytes)

Formiga (52K)

Araxa Barreiro.jpg (265656 bytes)

Araxá Barreiro

Largo Carmo O Preto.jpg (245705 bytes)

Largo do Carmo - Outro Preto

outoptr.jpg (17098 bytes)

Ouro Preto

ouroprt.jpg (83251 bytes)

Ouro Preto (very nice picture) (83K)

Cozinha Mineira.jpg (126889 bytes)

Cozinha Mineira

Montanhas.jpg (111438 bytes)


Temperos de Minas.jpg (288067 bytes)

Temperos de minas


Veu da Noiva - Cipo.jpg (62828 bytes)

Veu da noiva - Cipó

ouropr1.jpg (26409 bytes)

Ouro Preto (26K)

3pontas2.jpg (43517 bytes)

Tres Pontas (Milton Nascimento's land (43K)

uberold1.jpg (15737 bytes)

Uberaba - Praça Ruy Barbosa - old pic (8K)

uberla.jpg (32100 bytes)

Uberlandia (32K)

Faz Boa Esperança.jpg (216406 bytes)

Fazenda Boa Esperança

Ouro Preto.jpg (215789 bytes)

Ouro Preto

Igreja Pilar - OPreto.jpg (262374 bytes)

Igreja Pilar - Ouro Preto


Links to Minas Gerais its cities...

Belo Horizonte



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Last updated: 03/29/10.