Photographer's Note

The Lake and Dam of Tres Marias
The lake of Tres Marias began with the damming of the São Francisco river, formed by the construction of one of the largest earth dams in the world. The objectives were to control the flow of water of the river in the periodical floods and improve navegability; the use of hydroelectric power and the development of industry and irrigation. Begun in 1957, this great project was finished in January 1961, almost a world record in this type of construction.

The dam is 2,700 meters long with a base of 600 and a height of 75 meters. The lake, called Fresh Sea of Minas, has 21 billion square meters of water (741,608,000,000 cubic feet) 1,040 square square kilometers of surface (402 square miles), 8.7 times greater than Guanabara Bay, and bathes 8 municipalities.

Why Três Marias?
The versions are many. There are those who affirm, based on astronomy, that it is because of the tree stars belonging to the constellation of Orion, and that are permanently visible in this region.

Others mention the geographic point of the waterfalls, numbering three, that existed at the place where the reservoir would be built.

But the popular version refers to three sisters who lived on the right bank of the river. This version talks of a couple who lived on the bank of the river who had triplets, a rare case even today. At that time it was the subject of great commentary, with its fame spreading throughout the region. They were three beautiful girls all called Maria. Unfortunately, for this version there is no document in any registrar to prove its veracity. But the waterfall where the couple lived with their three daughters began to be called the Waterfall of the Three Marias, which disappeared after the building of the dam. The legend adds that the three Marias died by drowning in the river. This is the most accepted version for the origin of the name given to the lake and the dam, although the official name of the hydroelectric station is "Bernardo Mascarenhas".

(from: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Paulo Carvalho (paura) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7885 W: 56 N: 6399] (45863)
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