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Historical Center of Paraty

Historical Center of Paraty

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the historical center of Paraty. The colorful houses and cobblestone streets it looks like a travel through the colonial times in Brazil. In this post, we will tell everything about this charming part of the city, which is now a World Heritage Site!

If you have any doubts how organize your trip, you can check our post about Paraty Tours. There we have the bests tips about boat tours, waterfalls and beaches!

History and curiosities

The locals always say that if you skip the chains that border the historical center, your heart will be stuck in Paraty forever! And it’s true, this city stays in your heart forever!

The city of Paraty is full of history because basically follow all the important moments of the brazilian history. Since the sugar plantations in the 17th century, when the gold mines were discovered and the coffee plantations in the 19th, the port of Paraty was very important!

We can see that Paraty always had been a commercial city. If you paying attention, on the historical center we have the old houses that we call “Sobrados”. When this “sobrado” has a lot of doors, it means that in the colonial times, this house was a store.

Nowadays, Paraty is a touristic city and the historical center it’s the place that you can find all the souvenir shops, nice restaurants, bookshops and places to buy cachaça!

Despite saying that the historical center of Paraty is a colonial village, most houses of this period were renovated in the 19th century, when Brazil was already independent and a monarchy. If you see, some houses have the year on the top.

Did you know that Paraty is considered the Brazilian Venice? It’s because the city was planned below sea level and every month the water enter on the streets. It depends on the phases of the moon, if it’s full or new, and the historical center all floods into a beautiful natural spectacle!

For more curiosities like these that will make a difference in your trip, be sure to do the Paraty Free Walking Tour!

Museums of Paraty

On the historical center, we have 3 museums! And you can visit all in just one day.

Casa de Cultura is a great choice for local art production. All exhibitions show the history of Paraty or about local artists. Imagine you go to the exhibition and then buy the work and take it home?! Yeah! Some of the exhibitions are made by local artists who still have studios in the historic center.

SESC and Museu de Arte Sacra are practically neighbors. They are located in the Santa Rita’s Church square. SESC, like Casa de Cultura, brings exhibitions of local artists. And besides that, it organizes some festivals and concerts.

The Museum of Sacred Art of Paraty is located in the postcard of the city: Santa Rita’s church. Besides it having a very interesting collection about Brazilian colonial art, the church is a beautiful example of a colonial architecture.

You can visit from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 17pm. Don’t miss it!

Churches of Paraty

We have 4 churches in the historical center of Paraty. We already talked about the Santa Rita’s Church, that besides a Museum, it’s one of the oldest churches in town.

Every church was built, maintained and attended by a specific group. In Santa Rita’s church, it was the brotherhood of mixed and free people.


Although small, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary and Saint Benedict is the favorite of many people. The decoration is very delicate and beautiful. In Brazilian history, these two saints were always associated with the slaves.

On November, the church organizes the Festival of Saint Benedict with parades and masses. It’s one of my favorites religious holidays!

If you are looking for some different to do in Paraty that united all the culture and history, don’t miss our Capoeira Workshop! You will learn a lot of stories about this african heritage and how to express your body. It’s a interesting and funny tour!

One of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in the historic center. Our Lady of Sorrows Church is a typical colonial building. The “little chapel”, as it’s also called, is not open for visitation. So if during your visit you find this church open, don’t hesitate!


In Main Square, the meeting point of Paraty Free Walking Tour, we have the Main Church: Our Lady of Remedies, the most recent building. This church had the first mass in the 19th century but it’s completely finished.

On the original design, the church should have 2 towers, but the soil is a mangrove and the building started to sink! That’s why the bells are inside the church.


The historical center of Paraty is a must-see! There are many places to know and curiosities to discover! If you want to know more, read our post about the City of Paraty!

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