Ouro Preto, a former colonial gold mining town, is located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains in the state of Minas Gerais. These colonial towns look like replicas of towns in Portugal with their Baroque architecture. This particular town has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Brazilian Gold Rush attracted a lot of people and in the 18th century Ouro Preto (Black Gold) was for some time the most populated city in the Americas with over 80,000 inhabitants around 1750. At that time São Paulo did not even have 8,000 inhabitants. The town offically produced, in that century alone, over 800 tons of gold which was shipped to Portugal. No one knows how much gold disappeared in the local and illegal circuit but judging the decorations of churches, that amount was large.