Wednesday, 20 April 2011

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 06

Brazilian Post issued on April 8th, 2011 the first stamp of the series “Brazilian Historical Cities” celebrating the 300th anniversary of the city of Mariana. In 1696, the news that gold had been found in the region of minas, today State of Minas Gerais, quickly spread in Brazil and reached Portugal. Thousands of people rushed to the region in search of wealth and then emerged the village of Nossa Senhora do Carmo.

The initial landmark of Mariana is the year 1711, when, on April 8, Dom João V, King of Portugal raised the village to the category of a town. Following orders from Portugal, an administrative and judiciary framework was set up in the town on July 4, 1711 and in a short time the town became the main trade and education center of the state of Minas Gerais. The town became the converging point of the gold mining movement and a prosperous urban center. In 1745, the town of Nossa Senhora do Carmo was raised to the category of a city called Mariana as a tribute to Queen Maria Ana D’Austria, Dom João’s wife. Mariana became the first capital of Minas Gerais.
On its lower left corner, the stamp portrays the Saint Francis of Assisi church, which was built between 1762 and 1794, and the Our Lady of Carmo church, which began to be built in 1783 and whose construction finished in the following century. Located in the Minas Gerais square, these two churches seem to talk to each other. At the center of the stamp, one can see the Maria Fumaça locomotive, which connects Mariana to Ouro Preto and the pillory, full of elements: a globe (Portuguese maritime conquests), a scale (justice), a sword (conviction) and the Portuguese coat of arms. On the lower right corner, one can see the Chamber House and Jail built in the second half of the 18th century, which have preserved the features and history of a period marked by wealth and power.

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