Minas Gerais is the fourth largest state in Brazil, approximately twice the size of the United Kingdom.
During the gold rush of the late 17th and early 18th century, more than half the population of Brazil lived in the southeast of the country.
Juiz de Fora was known as the “Manchester of Minas” during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Only 10% of Brazil’s original cover of Atlantic Forest is thought to remain today.
The zona da mata was the richest part of Minas Gerais until the mid-20th century due to its lucrative dairy and coffee production.
Juiz de Fora was built around the camino novo (“new way”) road, which linked Rio de Janeiro to the gold mines.