From the many places that arised from mining activity one was known as Sao Joao Batista do Morro Grande, becoming, years later, the city of Barao de Cocais. The municipality was created in 1943 with the name of Barao de Cocais in honor of José Feliciano da Cunha Pinto Coelho, one of the commanders of the Liberal Revolution of Minas Gerais who became acclaimed in Barbacena, interim president of the Province of Minas Gerais.
Throughout the eighteenth century and part of the nineteenth, the place activity was based on mining. A fascinating testimony of this period is the archaeological site of Gongo Soco. Purchased by the British in the nineteenth century the place of the Gongo Soco Mine became a British village in the tropics, possessing hospital, chapel and private cemetery. All the ruins of Gongo Soco is listed by the State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage since 1995. Thus, Barao de Cocais has fine examples of historical heritage. At the doorway of St. John the Baptist Church, for example, there is a beautiful sculpture of the saint performed by master Aleijadinho.
"The municipality also has great natural attractions. A good tip is Cocais District, where you can find an oasis hidden in the forest, the Cocais Waterfall, which can be reached by trail. It has ten waterfalls that descend a rocky mountain over 30m in height, providing a wonderful spectacle. The heels make natural showers and a large swimming pool that provides delicious baths. Another must-see attraction in the district is the archeological site of Pedra Pintada (Painted Rock), where some rupestrian paintings can be enjoyed.
São João Batista Sanctuary
First Aleijadinho architectural design. Construction started in 1764 and completed in 1785. It is considered an Aleijadinho project due to the design of the frontispiece, to the cross arch, by daring to have the towers diagonally over the body of the church. Aleijadinho still carved the image of St. John the Baptist in soapstone and designed the stripe of the cross arch inside the Church. The Church has gold-plated altars and the ceiling painting is attributed to the master Ataíde.
Mother Church of Rosário
It was erected in 1855 on the initiative of the Ensign Antonio Sampayo da Silva, to allow the slaves, freed blacks and mestizos of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Rosary to attend at Mass, since they could not enter in the Church of Santana (which was frequented by gentlemen and nobles) and became the main church of the village. The Mother Church of the Rosary is located in Largo do Rosario, in front of the cruise and the fountain. In its Sacristy was buried Msgr. John Raimundo de Oliveira, benefactor of the village who performed the addition of the Church. The early church in 1921, has undergone renovations and painting, and is listed by IPHAM
Cachoeira do Cume "Cambota" - Cambota Waterfall
The Cambota Waterfall is located in San Miguel stream, where several drops are formed along its course, the water is clear with the temperature around 20 º c. Just after the drop natural showers and pools are formed, where you can sunbathe, the region is still rich in orchids, canelas-de-ema and ferns.
"The Sierra Cambota is part of the Barao de Cocais array of water and it is also part in volume of the 2nd and most important watershed. It s embedded in an environment called Eco Tone, which is a transition area between two biomes, very important in the climate of the city. It has a lush fauna. It is part of the complex of the Espinhaço."
It is an environment proper to tourism, but very sensitive. His land is rich in mineral components, ranking as a strategic area for the city.
Serra da "Cambota" (Campos do Garimpo) - Sierra Cambota (Goldwashing Fields)
The Espinhaço Ridge, recently listed by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, has in its geological formation the modern folds consisting predominantly of rocks as gneiss and granite.
"Region of rare beauty, it gives to the fans of ecotourism various sites suitable for the practice of walking, mountain biking and climbing. With a vegetation dominated by the rupestrian fields and the centennial canelas de-ema, give the place a peculiar reading with numerous species of flowers that form a pure mosaic of colors.
Known as Serra do Garimpo, the location is an interfluvial region of the Piracicaba River basin in its eastern portion and the Rio das Velhas basin on its west side.
Gongo Soco Ruins:
Gongo Soco is a testimony of one of the most significant cycles in the national economy, the Gold Rush. The history of the site began in 1745, when the foreman Bitencourt found gold in rivers that cross the region. At the end of the last century, it was acquired by John Ferreira and in 1825, the mine was purchased by Englishmen from Cornwall, who operated the mine from 1826 to 1856, creating there a flourishing tropical British settlement with hospital, chapel and private cemetery. It was paralyzed for a long time and in 1986, it was acquired by Socoimex Mining which still keeps preserved the environmental and historical landmarks of the region.