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Paraty was founded in 1667 around the church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, her patron saint.
It was of great economic importance since the sugar cane mills (it had more than 250) were considered synonymous with good brandy.
In the 18th century it was an important port from which gold and gemstones from Minas Gerais were shipped to Portugal. However, the construction of a new street (Estrada Real) that led directly to Rio de Janeiro led to the city's great economic isolation.
After the opening of the Paraty-Cunha connection and especially after the construction of the Rio-Santos road in the 1970s, Paraty became a national and international tourist center due to its good state of preservation from the colonial period and its natural beauty.
In its surroundings are the Serra da Bocaina National Park, the Cairuçú nature reserve, in which Vila da Trindade is located, the Joatinga nature reserve and the border with the Serra do Mar National Park with the Atlantic forest.
Paraty has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2019