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Published: March 15th 2008
Paraty, a small colonial port town on the southern-coast of Rio de Janeiro state illustrates one small subsection of history and culture of Brazil.
During the 18th century the hills and mountains of Minas Geras a few hundred kilometers to the North were plundered, the Portuguese had found their el dorado, cities of gold, even if it were all buried under hills. Massive quantities of gold and gemstones were excavated by slaves, and delivered to the ports - Rio de Janeiro and other smaller towns like Paraty.
These small cities developed, churches and important structures built. Somehow - a few of these towns have remained almost perfectly preserved since these times, and have now become UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The city is now a tourist hub for the residents of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro alike. Restaurants, souvenir shops and tour agencies line the cobbled streets.
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