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Flag of Januária
Official seal of Januária
Nickname(s): Portuguese: A Rainha das Águas Bonitas (The Queen of the Beautiful Waters)
Location in Brazil
Location in Brazil
Januária is located in Brazil
Location in Brazil
Coordinates: 15°29′16″S 44°21′43″W / 15.48778°S 44.36194°W / -15.48778; -44.36194Coordinates: 15°29′16″S 44°21′43″W / 15.48778°S 44.36194°W / -15.48778; -44.36194
Country  Brazil
Region Southeast
State Minas Gerais
Mesoregion North of Minas Gerais
Microregion Januária
Founded October 7, 1860
 • Mayor Manoel Jorge de Castro
 • Total 6,691.174 km2 (2,583.477 sq mi)
Elevation 434 m (1,424 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 67,875
 • Density 10.14/km2 (26.3/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-2 (UTC-2)
HDI (2000) 0.699
Website http://www.januaria.mg.gov.br

Januária is a municipality in northern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It is located on the left bank of the São Francisco River. The population was 64,985 inhabitants (IBGE 2007) and the area of the municipality was 6,691 km² (2007).

Municipal limits[edit]

Januária is limited in the north by the state of Bahia, Bonito de Minas and Cônego Marinho, in the south with São Francisco, in the east with Pedras de Maria da Cruz and Itacarambi, and in the west with Chapada Gaúcha.


Januária is also a statistical microregion (number 31) consisting of 16 municipalities: Bonito de Minas, Chapada Gaúcha, Cônego Marinho, Icaraí de Minas, Itacarambi, Januária, Juvenília, Manga, Matias Cardoso, Miravânia, Montalvânia, Pedras de Maria da Cruz, Pintópolis, São Francisco, São João das Missões, and Urucuia. The area is 15,945.80 km² and the population was 246,071 in 2000.


Due to the size of the municipality there are several districts. They are Brejo do Amparo, Levinópolis, Pandeiros, Riacho da Cruz, São Joaquim, Tejuco, and Várzea Bonita.


With an elevation of 454.87 meters the average annual temperature is 26°. Temperatures vary between maxima of 38° and 12.6°. The climate is tropical with transition to semi-arid and its vegetation is composed of cerrado (savanna) and clusters of caatinga (thorn bush). The size of the municipality ranks it among the 75 largest municipalities of the state of Minas Gerais.


The most important route of communication with the rest of the state is the BR-135. A modern bridge has substituted the ferry on the river. The distance to Belo Horizonte, the state capital, is 613 km.

Januária lies in an agro-pastoral region. Some changes have been implemented in recent years such as irrigation, soybean cultivation, and the decline of cotton cultivation.

Economic activities[edit]

Important crops are sugar cane (from which it inherited the fame of having one of the best rums in Brazil), corn, manioc and beans. Mango, breadfruit, coconut, orange, avocado, cashew, and bananas are also produced.

Like almost all the cities in this area of Minas Gerais cattle raising is an important economic activity. In 2006 there were 62,000 head—small when the size of the municipality is taken into consideration.

Small industries produce rum, vinegar, cotton by-products, shoes, and furniture.

Motor vehicles in 2007

  • Automobiles: 2,271
  • Pickup trucks: 584
  • Number of inhabitants per motor vehicle: 23 [1]

Main crops in area 2006

  • Rice: 600 ha.
  • Corn: 3,000 ha.
  • Manioc: 2,500 ha.
  • Beans: 2,500 ha.
  • Sugarcane: 500 ha.[1]

Farm data for 2006

  • Number of farms: 3,349
  • Agricultural area: 120,016 ha.
  • Planted area: 9,700 ha.
  • Area of natural pasture: 55, 113 ha.
  • Workers related to the producer: 10,147
  • Workers not related to the producer: 1,050
  • Number of farms with tractors: 97 [1]

From this data we can see that the planted area is small compared to the total agricultural area and that there are many people still living in the rural zone of the municipality. The number of tractors per farm was very low.

Health and education (2005)[edit]

  • Hospitals: 2 with 113 beds
  • Health clinics: 21
  • Primary schools: 95
  • Primary school enrollment: 15,411
  • Middle schools: 13
  • Middle school enrollment: 239[1]

Ranking on the Municipal Human Development Index[edit]


The first explorers arrived in 1553 looking for gold. They were led by the Spaniards Francisco Bruza de Espinosa and Father João de Apicuelta Navarro. The first settlement was called Brejo do Salgado, due to the salinity of the streams and the marshes. The first sugarcane mill was set up and soon a chapel followed dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Amparo. In 1833 Brejo do Salgado became a "vila", or town and the seat was transferred to the left bank of the São Francisco River, the name being changed to Januária, in homage to Princess Januária, daughter of the Emperor Pedro I. In 1860 Januária was elevated to the category of city. The surrounding area was immense with several districts such as São Caetano do Japoré (today the city of Manga), São João das Missões, Jacaré (today the city of Itacarambi), Conceição de Morrinhos (today the city of Matias Cardoso), Mocambo (today a district of Levinópolis) all created in 1903.[3]

Districts created and lost

  • In 1911 the district of Pedras de Maria da Cruz was created.
  • In 1923 the districts of Manga and Matias Cardoso were lost but the district of Cônego Marinho was added.
  • In 1938 the district of Missões was created
  • In 1953 Riacho da Cruz (ex-Bela Vista) was created.
  • In 1962 the districts of Itacarambi and Missões were lost.
  • In 1976 the districts of Bonito, São Joaquim and Tejuco were created
  • In 1982, São Pedro das Tabocas was created.
  • In 1992 the district of Pedras de Maria da Cruz (hoje Maria da Cruz) was lost
  • In 1995 the districts of Bonito (today the city of Bonito de Minas) and Cônego Marinho (today the city of Cônego Marinho) were created.


Interior of the Janelão cave


The location on the banks of one of the most important rivers in Brazil opens up many recreational possibilities. In the months of July, August, and September when the river is low and relatively clean there are extensive beaches along the river sought after by swimmers and sunbathers. Nearby there is a fifteen meter high waterfall called the Cachoeira de Pandeiros which has a large area for swimming. In the city itself the nineteenth century architecture has been preserved in many government buildings and private houses, with the most important being the Casa da Memoria (1910) and the City Hall (1890).[4] The municipality contains part of the Cavernas do Peruaçu National Park, which holds the dramatic Gruta do Janelão, a large limestone cave.


The city is served by Januária Airport 5 km (3 mi) to the northwest of the city.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

in Portuguese: