Brazil is a traditionally catholic country and consequently Mary, the mother of Jesus, is eminently revered. Diamantina has more than half a dozen churches that are dedicated to Our Lady. This one is Our Lady of the Rosary, captured in the late afternoon sun against an ominously dark sky.
Among the many treasures that can be found in Diamantina is a unique kind of jewellery: exquisite miniature pieces of art. are born out of the unlikely fusion of the humble coconut shell and the noble gold.
The technique dates back to the second half of the 19th century. Ezequias Lopes, a Portuguese goldsmith who settled in Diamantina at that time, claimed to have invented it. His apprentice Antônio de Padua de Oliveira followed in his footsteps and went on to open his own jewellery store. “Joalheria Padua”, a little jewel box in itself, exists to this day under the direction of his namesake grandson, and is considered the oldest store of its kind in Brazil.
Over the last 130 years or so, others have mastered the art , thus turning “Coco e Ouro” into a true Diamantina hallmark.
Pico do Itambé is the highest peak in the area at 2002m and its prominence is enhanced by its distinctive shape. It was a point of reference from the time the first Portuguese scouting expeditions, the “Bandeirantes”, set foot in the region in the 17th century thru the period when explorers and naturalists documented their pursuits during the 200 years that followed.
Today it forms a picture postcard backdrop for a number of towns and villages that have come into existence since then, Diamantina among them. In 1998 a state park with an extensive trail network was created, challenging the nature lover to climb its slopes and feel the exhilaration of standing on its top.
Of course Pico do Itambé is also a much photographed landmark. Here is a first selection of great pictures, taken by various photographers from different vantage points.
Sérgio Miranda has been documenting Diamantina with his camera for about 15 years. He switched to digital photography less than two years ago, and has maintained the discipline of carefully studying and composing each frame, rather than shooting indiscriminately and selecting the best images later.
By creating a forum on facebook, “Clickphoto Diamantina“, he’s encouraging others to do the same. Today he is sharing with us a series of nocturnal images, capturing the poetry and magic that can be felt everywhere after the town has gone to sleep.
We look forward to seeing more of Sérgio’s images.
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Starting today “diamantina diary” will introduce new contributing photographers, both professional and amateur, each of whom will present us with their very own perspective of this enchanting town.
Today’s feature is by Raquel Galiciolli, a longtime Diamantina resident.
Uma cidade fotogênica e muito fotografada. Difícil descobrir um ângulo ainda não registrado. Ainda assim, ouso revelá-la através de detalhes. São eles que me encantam, diariamente.Um passeio atento por suas ruas nos permite perceber que se trata de um lugar inesquecível.”
Raquel, fisioterapeuta por formação, saúde pública por escolha e fotografia por paixão!
a photogenic and much photographed town. It’s hard to find an angle that hasn’t been recorded yet.
Still I dare to reveal her through details. It’s they which enchant me, every day. An attentive stroll through her streets makes us realize that this is an unforgettable place.”
Raquel,physiotherapistby training,public healthbychoice andphotography by passion!
Thank you Raquel for sharing these beautiful images with us. We hope to see more of your work soon.
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Ask people from around the world what they associate with Brazilian landscapes, and most likely they will come up with two images: lush tropical forests and endless beaches.
However Brazil is a country of continental dimensions – it’s actually bigger than the lower 48 states of the US – and accordingly features a wide variety of natural sceneries.
The Cerrado, a vast tropicalsavannaecoregion of Brazil according to Wikipedia, actually makes up about 21% of the country. Wooded areas alternate with open country, often dotted with bizarre rock formations. The topography can be dramatic and offer spectacular vistas.
Diamantina is located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountain range, one of the core regions of the Cerrado. The following pictures are intended to provide a brief glimpse into this unique landscape.