Since the 19th century, Valença holds great riches. From the golden coffee times, the city keeps its traditions, its parties, its customs.
The city of Valença, located in the Region of the Coffee Valley, is 148 km from the capital, after a ride of about two hours and 30 minutes. In the city, the past related to the cultural climax of the Coffee Cycle is completely intact, with several properties of colonial architecture still preserved. There are farmsteads, parks, churches, gardens, and farms that tell us a little bit of the daily life of the people who lived in the region.
The Glaziou Garden, the Lea Pentagna Cultural Foundation, and the historical monuments of 19th century architecture tell us another part of this story. Among the main tourist attractions, the 800-meters-high Morro do Cruzeiro, which is similar to the Sugarloaf, deserves the spotlight. On top of it there is a cross dated from 1803, when the first Catholic mass was celebrated there. From there, you can see the TV Tower Peak and a great part of the rural area of the city.
Another unforgettable visit is the Cathedral Museum, located on the top floor of the right wing of the Igreja Matriz church. It was created in the 1950s and has around 80 items, among them silvery, goldsmithery, statues, obituaries, baptismal font, furniture, chalices, jewelry, thuribles, bells, crowns, photographs, chandeliers, litters, niches, garments, banners, clay water pots of the crowned Indians etc.
Conservatória, a district of Valena, is an attraction of its own. It’s a city that is moved by music, and is known by many as the “City of the Serenades”. On the weekend, seresteiros (“serenade players”) gather to fascinate locals and tourists. In the 70s, started a project of small metal plates that were put on the corners of the streets that read not only the name of a song but the name of the songwriter. The locals approved the idea and started to put plates with the name of their favorite songs on the walls of their houses.
The city, with its bucolic stone streets, also offers attractions like colonial multi-story houses, an old train station, the Matriz de Santo Antônio church, and several museums related to music. Besides great farm-hotels, the city has rivers, waterfalls, hiking trails, and two unmissable attractions: Serra da Beleza (a spot for people curious about UFOs) and the Túnel que Chora tunnel, built by slaves.