Conde Nast Johansens
Conde Nast Johansens

Village

The name Ibitipoca comes from the Tupi Guarani. It has several meanings such as stone house, home of the crash and chipped stone.

The region was inhabited by the Aracis Indians who were decimated by the end of the 17th century with the arrival of the first explorers who came seeking gold. In 1732, a Spanish publication about the gold minds of Brazil mentions the mines of Aubitipoca.

The village was founded in 1718, making it one of the oldest villages in Minas Gerais. It still preserves marks of the wealth earned at this time such as the Matriz church built in baroque style in 1768 dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception. In the lower part of the village, black people were forbidden to attend the Portuguese church, so they built the Church of Our Lady of the Roasry in the 19th century. History Heritage protects both churches.

The Gold rush did not last very long in this region. The village declined economically because of the sandy soils and unfavorable typography. The French naturalist, Auguste de Saint-Hilaire, visited the area in 1822 and said “After approximately a league, we reached the village of ibitipoca located at a peak. Although the head of the strict extends to the black river, this village consists of only a few small houses in poor condition.”

Today, tourisms presents both an economic opportunity and a threat to the village. A major concern is the risk to architectural integrity due to a faulty and not always followed master plan.

The immediate plan of Iphan and the Ministry of Tourism for the village sets the minimum radius at 10 km as well as invests in to architectural salvage, sewage treatment, and underground energy lines, which are projects critical to the sustainability of tourism. These are some critical goals for establishing a sustainable tourism economy.