Thursday, April 28, 2016

Inhotim, home to one of the most important contemporary art collections in Brazil.

Photo divulgação by Inhotim

Instituto Inhotim is home to a museological complex featuring a series of pavilions and galleries with works of art and sculptures on display in the open air.

The Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim is  located in Brumadinho in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, founded by former mining magnate Bernardo Paz.

Art by Dan Graham via wikipedia

Sculptures by Edgard de Souza via wikipedia

Narcissus garden. Foto: wikipedia by Yayoi Kusama

Jardins de Inhotim. Photo Google
Jardins Inhotim. Photo Marco Mendes

One of the restaurants of Inhotim. Photo by viagensdapaulete

True Rouge by Tunga via wikipedia.
Nets, blown glass, red ink, marine sponges, billiard balls and felts.

"Nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking beauty of Inhotim, Brazil’s best-kept secret for lovers of contemporary art. Nestled in the remote southeastern town of Brumadinho (a 90-minute drive from the city of Belo Horizonte), Inhotim (pronounced IN-YO-TCHEEN) offers visitors a full-sensory unparalleled aesthetic experience.
A sprawling 5000 acres of lush botanical gardens (designed by Brazilian landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx) house approximately 500 works by 100 artists from 30 countries in over two dozen gallery pavilions. Arguably the finest outdoor contemporary art center in the world, Inhotim also boasts the world’s largest collection of palm trees (over 1500 different species); 4500 different exotic species of plants; gourmet restaurants; and works by the likes of Matthew Barney, Chris Burden, Janet Cardiff and George Miller, Anish Kapoor, and Brazilian superstar Tunga.
Inhotim’s installations demand direct participation between the viewer and the art object. It’s nearly impossible to have a passive viewing experience. On a massive lawn, for instance, hundreds of scattered pots in the shape of letters await patrons, who are encouraged to spell their names and then plant flowers inside them. Across the lake, a giant kaleidoscope by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson (“Vi
ewing Machine”) offers a stunning vision of the mountainside."
Source:  huffingtonpost
“Viewing Machine” by Olafur Eliasson. This work Olafur Eliasson based on the principles of operation of the kaleidoscope, generating an effect obtained by the reflection of light in six mirrors that form a hexagonal tube. The visitor is invited to handle this machine, pointing it at a point of interest, inside or outside the gallery space. Through the superposition of reflections, a myriad of shapes is disclosed. Photo by Zach Udko

Photo divulgação Inhotim

In August 2015, Inhotim reached the 2-million-visitor mark. These visitors came from the most diverse places and realities since the park was first opened to public visitation back in 2006.

Opening hours
Tuesday to friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, sunday and holidays: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays: R$ 25,00
Wednesdays (except for holidays): free admission
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: R$40,00
Closed on Mondays.
Free entrance
Friends of Inhotim and children up to 5 years old.

For more information, visit

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Mineral Springs in Araxá, Minas Gerais

Araxá , a municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil,  has some of the most tranquil holiday-maker attractions in Brazil. You will see the loveliest craft pieces made in looms, and the delicacies of the local cuisine, like compote candy and cookies. Araxá’s weather and landscapes make it perfect for exciting activities such as hang-gliding.

Photo Flickr by Jarbas Rezende
The town was named after the Indian tribe "Araxas" who lived there at the time it was first discovered and the name means "the place from where the sun is seen first".

One of Brazil's most famous soap operas, "Dona Beja", a mythical character of the city, was filmed there (Araxá).

In addition to tourism the city has mines of niobium (columbium) used in jet engine components, rocket sub-assemblies, and heat-resisting and combustion equipment. Reserves are about 460 million tons, sufficient to satisfy current world demand for about 500 years. The largest enterprise in this sector is CBMM—Companhia Brasileira de Metallurgia e Mineração.

Araxá is a major producer of phosphate concentrate, essential for the production of fertilizers. The most important company in this sector is Vale Fertilizantes S.A., with the largest Single Super Phosphate production plant in Brazil.

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.

Araxá is famous in Brazil for its spa with medicinal mud and mineral waters. One of Brazil's most emblematic hotels, the Grand Hotel, is the center of attraction. 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. 

Grand Hotel

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.

Grand Hotel. Photo by wikipedia

Grand Hotel, Thermal Complex. Photo by marasenna
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.

Photo: by aventurese
The indoor radioactive water pool is indicated for relaxation and therapies to rehabilitate motor functions.
Indoos pool. Photo by blogdotaua

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.

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.  
Andrade Junior Spring. Photo by Danilo Matoso

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.
Dona Beja Spring. Photo by renatoguima

Dona Beja Spring interior. Photo by blogdotaua

Dona Beja Spring. Photo by aventurese
Opposite the spring there is a handicraft fair where the locals sell pieces of crafts and typical food. 

Outside the Town

Around the town there are several natural pools, cascades and waterfalls. There are also many places where one can practice trail bike, 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.

Sources: oocities and wikipedia