The conservation of historic cities and architectural heritage in Brazil, with particular reference to the state of Minas Gerais and the city of Mariana
This piece of work analyses the existing condition of the Brazilian. architectural heritage, focusing especially on the historic cities. In order to make it possible, the study first of all analyses the Brazilian historical background with the purpose of establishing a relationship between the circumstances and conditions in which these cities were created. Initially, the scenery of the landscape, the geographical aspects of nature, the climate and the people who converged on this New World in South America, thus initiating the Brazilian diversity of culture and behaviour, are considered. Historical, political, social, and financial factors which were involved in the construction of these cities are also shown in order to facilitate the understanding of their character and meaning. The aim of this study is to analyse aspects of the conservation of listed buildings in these special areas known as historic cities. In order to evaluate the extent of the problem, and because the Brazilian official institution which is responsible for the care of the heritage is supported by the government, specific situations occurring in different regions will be shown. The legislation related to the protection of the listed artefacts in which are included listed buildings and also urban areas is analysed in its application and results. This study takes into account the most important concentration of historic cities in Brazil, which were constructed in the eighteenth century, in the state of Minas Gerais, and then, describes the in-depth research conducted in one of these special cities - Mariana - in order to provide data and arguments for the evaluation of the protection of the historic cities in Brazil. Looking initially at the whole of the Brazilian architectural heritage values, and then focusing on a special area in order to study and evaluate rules and schemes concerning the protection and conservation of the historic cities, this research aims to find a methodology for the restoration and conservation of those cities as a whole.