Fundação Renova


Published in: 11/28/2019


See how the square will look like after works


As part of Renova ‘s commitments to invest 100 million in compensation actions in Mariana, on Monday (11/11), the revitalization project of the Gomes Freire Square (Jardim) was approved.

The proposal considered both the historical aspects of the square since its construction in the late nineteenth century, as well as the inclusion; accessibility; improvements in lighting, landscaping, furniture; the preservation of lakes and the bridge; besides the restoration of the Gomes Freire drinking fountain, bandstand and bust. Other interventions are:  

  • Activation and relocation of Dr. Gomes Freire’s drinking fountain and bust to the flowerbed in front of the Bishop’s House 
  • Construction of access ramps to the square;
  • Construction of bleachers facing shops and bars;
  • Pavement around the lower lake and renovation of the “Bridge of Sighs”;
  • Planting of hydrangeas and Santa Terezinha roses in the flower beds;
  • More wooden benches. 

Consensus on the project was reached based on the guided tour that took place in early November and consideration of demands by participants, such as retailers and residents of the square and other neighborhoods of Mariana, representatives of the Municipal Office, Municipal Council of Cultural Heritage (Compat) and the Renova Foundation. Initially, some ideas were not accepted, such as the removal of the bridge between the two lakes. Ms. Hebe Rola, professor emeritus from the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP) and president of the Casa de Cultura – Academy of Letters of Mariana, emphasized the importance of this bridge known as ‘Bridge of Sighs’, a favorite location of tourists and those in love for taking pictures. “It’s really a Bridge of Sighs. Quarreling lovers would literally go there to sigh and wash away their sorrows. So, I spoke to the landscaper and explained to him the meaning of the monument and then the Bridge of Sighs could stay, which made me and everyone in our group very happy. It really made all people from Mariana happy,” she explains. After the technicians collected information from the residents on their experience and opinion for the project it was decided that the bridge will remain and rebuilt. Other proposals, such as the construction of continuous benches around the lakes and the implementation of a stage in front of the Rancho restaurant, were not accepted and will not be incorporated into the project. Ms. Hebe highlighted the importance of welcoming the opinion of the residents. “Now we hope everything works out well according to our understandings respected by Renova. We will be forever grateful, because it is important for us to preserve this tiny piece of our history,” she emphasizes.

The final draft was approved in a public hearing on November 11. Note that the Renova Foundation consulted priorly with the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN). At this time, we are awaiting the licenses from IPHAN, Compat and the Mariana Municipal Office. Click on the link (insert pdf with the complete project) to see the illustrative images of the project. 

Start of works

With the licenses, the works will start in 2020 and are expected to be completed in seven months. The investment is a compensatory measure provided for in the Transaction and Conduct Adjustment Agreement (TTAC), which establishes the reparation and compensation measures, such as the revitalization of the square requested by the municipal government due to the impacts of the Fundao dam collapse. 

Other investments were announced in July 2019 during the Minas Gerais Day ceremony in the Open Letter “Time to Move Forward” addressed to the people of Mariana. Visit the Renova website and learn more about all the next actions. 

Public participation in the definition of the project took place at the public hearing (October 1), the guided tour (November 3), the approval hearing (November 11) and will extend to the monitoring of the construction.


Have a look at more details about the Gomes Freire Square revitalization project.


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