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Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte

Overview
Belo Horizonte (ˌbɛloɾiˈzõtʃi, Beautiful Horizon) is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

, located in the southeastern region
Southeast Region, Brazil
The Southeast Region of Brazil is composed by the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is the richest region of the country, responsible for approximately 60% of the Brazilian GDP. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are three richest states of Brazil,...

 of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Belo Horizonte (also known as "Belô", "Beagá", or "BH") has a population of over 2.4 million, or almost 5.4 million in the official Metropolitan Area.

The region was first settled in the early 18th century, but the city as it is known today was planned and constructed in the 1890s, in order to replace Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

 as the capital of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

.
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Encyclopedia
Belo Horizonte (ˌbɛloɾiˈzõtʃi, Beautiful Horizon) is the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

, located in the southeastern region
Southeast Region, Brazil
The Southeast Region of Brazil is composed by the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is the richest region of the country, responsible for approximately 60% of the Brazilian GDP. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais are three richest states of Brazil,...

 of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country. Belo Horizonte (also known as "Belô", "Beagá", or "BH") has a population of over 2.4 million, or almost 5.4 million in the official Metropolitan Area.

The region was first settled in the early 18th century, but the city as it is known today was planned and constructed in the 1890s, in order to replace Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto
-History:Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village," the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule....

 as the capital of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

. The city features a mixture of contemporary and classical buildings, and is home to several modern Brazilian architectural icons, most notably the Pampulha Complex
Pampulha
Pampulha is a man-made lagoon located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It is also the name of the surrounding residential neighborhood and is one of the city's administrative regions....

. In planning the city, Aarão Reis and Francisco Bicalho sought inspiration in the urban planning of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 The city has employed notable programs in urban revitalization and food security, for which it has been awarded international accolades.

The city is built on several hills and is completely surrounded by mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

s. There are several large parks in the immediate surroundings of Belo Horizonte. The "Parque das Mangabeiras", located six kilometres south-east from the city centre in the hills of the Serra do Curral, affords a view over the city. It has an area of 2.35 km² (580.7 acre), of which 0.9 km² (222.4 acre) is native forest. The "Mata do Jambeiro" nature reserve extends over 912 hectares (2,253.6 acre), with vegetation typical of the Atlantic forest. More than one hundred species of bird inhabit the reserve, as well as ten different species of mammals.

Surrounding cities and metropolitan area



The term "Grande BH" ("Greater Belo Horizonte") denotes any of various definitions for the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte. The legally defined Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte consists of 34 municipalities in total, and a population of around five million inhabitants (as of 2007, according to IBGE).

The intense process of urbanization that is currently taking place in the metropolitan region has made some of the political boundaries between municipalities in the region obsolete. The city is now composed of a relatively contiguous urban area, centered on Belo Horizonte, which extends out into municipalities such as Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

, Betim
Betim
Betim is a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located at around . The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitan of Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte....

, Nova Lima
Nova Lima
Nova Lima is a city in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil, located close to the state's capital, Belo Horizonte. Its 2001 population was estimated at 66,700. The city is home to several mines, including the Morro Velho, Mostardas], and Rio de Peixe mines. A number of minerals are extracted from...

, Ribeirão das Neves
Ribeirão das Neves
Ribeirão das Neves is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:...

, Santa Luzia
Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais
Santa Luzia is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte. Its population in 2010 was 231,607.-See also:...

 and Sabará
Sabará
Sabará is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

, among others.

The municipality bounded to the north by Vespasiano
Vespasiano
Vespasiano is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

, to the north east by Santa Luzia, by Sabará to the east, by Nova Lima to the southeast, Brumadinho
Brumadinho
Brumadinho is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

 to the south and Ribeirão das Neves, Contagem and Ibirité
Ibirité
Ibirité is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte. Its population is 152,000 inhabitants .-History:...

 to the west.

Geology and geomorphology


Belo Horizonte lies on a region of contact between different geological series of the Proterozoic
Proterozoic
The Proterozoic is a geological eon representing a period before the first abundant complex life on Earth. The name Proterozoic comes from the Greek "earlier life"...

. The geology largely comprises various crystalline rocks, which give rise to the varied morphology of the landscape. It is located in a large geological unit known as the craton
Craton
A craton is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by...

 of San Francisco
San Francisco River
The San Francisco River is a river in the southwest United States, the largest tributary of the Upper Gila River. The river originates in Arizona and flows into New Mexico before it curves around and enters the Gila down stream from Clifton, Arizona....

, referring to extensive crustal nucleus of central-eastern Brazil, tectonicly stable at the end of the Paleoproterozoic
Paleoproterozoic
The Paleoproterozoic is the first of the three sub-divisions of the Proterozoic occurring between . This is when the continents first stabilized...

 and bordering areas that suffered the regeneration at the Neoproterozoic
Neoproterozoic
The Neoproterozoic Era is the unit of geologic time from 1,000 to 542.0 ± 1.0 million years ago. The terminal Era of the formal Proterozoic Eon , it is further subdivided into the Tonian, Cryogenian, and Ediacaran Periods...

.

The archean
Archean
The Archean , also spelled Archeozoic or Archæozoic) is a geologic eon before the Paleoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon, before 2.5 Ga ago. Instead of being based on stratigraphy, this date is defined chronometrically...

 rocks members of Belo Horizonte complex and supracrustal sequences of the Paleoproterozoic is predominant. The area of Belo Horizonte complex includes the geomorphological unit called Depression of Belo Horizonte, which represents about 70% of the municipality area and has its greatest expression in the northern Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 (Rues Stream) pipeline. The metasedimentary rocks has its area of occurrence on the south of Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 pipeline, constituting about 30% of the area of Belo Horizonte. The characteristics of this area are lithological diversities and rugged topography, which has its maximum expression in the Serra do Curral (Corral Ridge), the southern boundary of the municipality.

Its soil comprises a succession of layers of rocks of varied composition, represented by itabirite, dolomite
Dolomite
Dolomite is a carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg2. The term is also used to describe the sedimentary carbonate rock dolostone....

, quartzite
Quartzite
Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink...

, filities and schist
Schist
The schists constitute a group of medium-grade metamorphic rocks, chiefly notable for the preponderance of lamellar minerals such as micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. Quartz often occurs in drawn-out grains to such an extent that a particular form called quartz schist is...

s different from the general direction northwest-southeast and dip to the southeast.

The hills of Belo Horizonte are part of the Espinhaço Mountains
Espinhaço Mountains
The Espinhaço Mountains is a mountain range in Brazil. The range runs roughly north and south through the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, and forms the divide between the upper watershed of the São Francisco River and those of the shorter rivers which flow east into the Atlantic, including the...

 and belong to the larger Itacolomi mountain chain. The highest point in the municipality is in the Serra do Curral, reaching 1538 metres (5,045.9 ft).

Hydrology



Belo Horizonte is located in the São Francisco Basin
São Francisco River
The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of , it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America and overall in Brazil...

. There are no large rivers passing through the city, although it does feature several smaller rivers, now mostly canalized. The two largest rivers running through the capital are the Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 and Ribeirão da Onça, both tributaries of the Rio das Velhas (Velhas River). The catchments for both rivers are situated towards the source of the Rio das Velhas and cover the municipalities of Belo Horizonte and Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

, an area of 525.58 square kilometre located on the left bank of the river itself. This is the most urbanized region of the basin, with an estimated population of 2,776,543 million people, according to the IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

, 2000. The Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 crosses the city from west to east. Further north, part of the basin is in Ribeirão do Onça, dammed to form a lake of the same name. The Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 ends in the municipality of Sabará
Sabará
Sabará is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

 and the Ribeirão da Onça in Santa Luzia
Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais
Santa Luzia is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte. Its population in 2010 was 231,607.-See also:...

. The Ribeirão Arrudas
Ribeirão Arrudas
Arrudas is a stream that begins its course in Contagem, goes down through Belo Horizonte. It is one of the source of Das Velhas River Rio das Velhas in Sabará...

 and Ribeirão da Onça receive the majority of wastewater from the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte. As hillsides undergo urbanization and areas of natural drainage reduced, the amount of wastewater entering the rivers has been increasing. Where these rivers join with at their points of confluence with the Rio das Velhas, there is an observable and marked deterioration in water quality.

Few fish are present in either of these smaller rivers. In tributaries with better ecological conditions, such as in the streams of the Mangabeiras Park, some small catfish and other species are found. In the Pampulha
Pampulha
Pampulha is a man-made lagoon located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It is also the name of the surrounding residential neighborhood and is one of the city's administrative regions....

 dam, belonging to the sub-basin of the Riberão do Onça, there are about 20 species, some exotics such as tilapia
Tilapia
Tilapia , is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the...

, of African origin.

With two sewage
Sewage
Sewage is water-carried waste, in solution or suspension, that is intended to be removed from a community. Also known as wastewater, it is more than 99% water and is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical constituents and the bacteriological organisms that it contains...

 treatment stations running, Belo Horizonte and Contagem are able to treat 100% of their sewage.

Climate



Belo Horizonte's climate can be classified as tropical by its altitude, with yearly average temperatures between 9 and 35 °C (48.2 and 95 F). The Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 of the region is tropical savanna climate
Tropical savanna climate
Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification categories "Aw" and '"As."...

 (Aw) and it borders on a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Cwa), (tropical on high altitudes, humid/warm summer and a dry/cool winter). As a city located in the southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

, Belo Horizonte's spring starts in September, its summer in December, its autumn in March, and its winter in June. Belo Horizonte is located about 300 kilometres (186.4 mi) distant from the sea.

Even though inter-seasonal differences are not as pronounced as they are in temperate places, and many people believe that, as in much of Brazil, there are just two seasons (a hot and humid one from October to March, and a colder and drier one from April to September), there is a contrast between spring and summer, and between fall and winter. The coldest month is generally July, with a lowest recorded temperature of 2 °C (36 °F). The hottest month is usually January, with a highest recorded temperature of 35.4 °C (96 °F).

There can be problems related to low air humidity during August. The 852 metres (2,795.3 ft) elevation of Belo Horizonte helps a little in cooling the city, suppressing high maximum air temperatures experienced in nearby cities at lower altitudes. Belo Horizonte's climate is mild throughout the year. Temperatures vary between 11 and 31 °C (51.8 and 87.8 F), the average being 22 °C (72 °F). Winter is dry, and summer is rainy.

History



The metropolis was once a small village, founded by João Leite da Silva Ortiz, a bandeirante explorer from São Paulo. The explorer settled in the region in 1701, leaving a gold rush expedition. He then established a farm called "Curral d'el Rey", archaic Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 for the "King's Corral, which in modern Portuguese would be spelled Curral do Rei. The farm's wealth and success encouraged people from surrounding places to move into the region, and Curral del Rey became a village surrounded by farms.

Another important factor contributing to the growth of the village was the number of migrants from the São Francisco river
São Francisco River
The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of , it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America and overall in Brazil...

 region, who had to pass through Curral d'el Rey in order to reach southern parts of Brazil. Travelers usually visited a small wooden chapel, where they prayed for a safe trip. Due to this fact, the chapel was named Capela da Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, which means "Chapel of Our Lady of the Good Journey." After the construction of Belo Horizonte, the old baroque chapel was replaced by a neo-gothic church which became the city's cathedral.

The previous capital of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

, Ouro Preto (meaning "black gold", due to dark rocks with gold inside found on the region), originally called "Vila Rica" ("wealthy village"), was a symbol of both the monarchic Brazilian Empire
Brazilian Empire
The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II, both members of the House of Braganza—a...

 and the period when most of Brazilian income was due to mining, and that never pleased the members of the Inconfidência Mineira
Inconfidência Mineira
The Inconfidência Mineira of 1789 was an unsuccessful Brazilian independence movement.It was a result of the confluence of external and internal causes...

, republican intellectuals who conspired against the Portuguese dominion of Brazil. In 1889, Brazil became a republic, and it was agreed that a new state capital, in tune with a modern and prosperous Minas Gerais, had to be set.

In 1893, due to the climatic and topographic conditions, Curral Del Rey was selected by Minas Gerais governor Afonso Pena
Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena
Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena was a Brazilian politician, and president between 1906 and 1909. Before his political career, Pena was a lawyer, jurist and member of the Brazilian Supreme Court....

 among other cities as the location for the new economical and cultural center of the state, under the new name of "Cidade de Minas," or Minas City.

Aarão Reis, an urbanist from the State of Pará
Pará
Pará is a state in the north of Brazil. It borders the Brazilian states of Amapá, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Roraima. To the northwest it also borders Guyana and Suriname, and to the northeast it borders the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Belém.Pará is the most populous state...

, was then set to design the second planned city of Brazil (the first one is Teresina
Teresina
Teresina is the capital and most populous municipality in the Brazilian state of Piauí. It is located in North-central Piauí 366 km from the coast.It is therefore, the only capital in the Northeast that is not located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. With 814 439 inhabitants, it is the 19th...

), and then Cidade de Minas was inaugurated finally in 1897, with many unfinished constructions as the Brazilian Government
Politics of Brazil
The politics of Brazil take place in a framework of a federal presidential representative democratic republic, where by the President is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system...

 set a deadline for its completion. Inhabitation of the city was subsidized by the local government, through the concession of free empty lots and funding for building houses. An interesting feature of Belo Horizonte Reis designed was the downtown street plan, featuring a regular array of perpendicular and diagonal streets, named after Brazilian states and Brazilian indigenous
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 tribes.

In 1906, the name was then changed to Belo Horizonte, and at that time the city was experiencing a considerable industrial expansion
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 that increased its commercial and service sectors. From its very beginning, the city's original plan prohibited workers to live inside the urban area which was defined by Avenida do Contorno (a long avenue which goes around the city's central areas), reserved for the public sector functionaries (hence the name of the still trendy neighborhood "Funcionários"), and bringing about an accelerated occupation outside the city's area well provided with infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 since its very beginning. Obviously, the city's original planners did not count on its population growth afterwards, which proved especially intense in the last twenty years of the 20th century.

In the 1940s, a young Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

 designed the Pampulha Neighborhood to great acclaim, a commission he got thanks to then-mayor, soon-to-be-president Juscelino Kubitschek. These two men are largely responsible for the wide avenue
Avenue (landscape)
__notoc__In landscaping, an avenue or allée is traditionally a straight route with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each, which is used, as its French source venir indicates, to emphasize the "coming to," or arrival at a landscape or architectural feature...

s, large lakes, parks and jutting skylines that characterize the city today.

Belo Horizonte is fast becoming a regional center of commerce. The Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n Research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 center of Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

, situated in Belo Horizonte, is responsible for the management and operation of the social networking website Orkut
Orkut
Orkut is a social networking website that is owned and operated by Google Inc. The service is designed to help users meet new and old friends and maintain existing relationships...

. It continues to be a trendsetter in the arts, particularly where music, literature, architecture and the avant-garde are concerned. There are plans underway to move a complex of government ministries north of the center, onto the road to Confins International Airport, liberating space around beautiful palm-fringed Praça da Liberdade to house the city's symphony orchestra and other arts organizations.

Demographics


According to the IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 of 2008, there were 5,054,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte. The population density was 7290.8 PD/sqkm (in the urban area).

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 2,344,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (46.38%), 2,098,000 White
White Brazilian
White Brazilians make up 48.4% of Brazil's population, or around 92 million people, according to the IBGE's 2008 PNAD . Whites are present in the entire territory of Brazil, although the main concentrations are found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country...

 people (41.51%), 581,000 Black
Afro-Brazilian
In Brazil, the term "preto" is one of the five categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with "branco" , "pardo" , "amarelo" and "indígena"...

 people (11.50%), 14,000 Asian
Asian Brazilian
An Asian Brazilian is is a Brazilian citizen of full or partial Asian ancestry, who remains culturally connected to Asia, or an Asian-born person permanently residing in Brazil. Brazil received many immigrants from Asia, both from Middle East and East Asia...

 people (0.27%), 14,000 Amerindian
Indigenous peoples in Brazil
The Indigenous peoples in Brazil comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500...

 people (0.27%).

The Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, called Greater Belo Horizonte, is the third most populous of Brazil, after only Greater Sao Paulo
Greater São Paulo
The Greater São Paulo is a nonspecific term for one of the multiple definitions the large metropolitan area located in the São Paulo state in Brazil.-Definitions:-Metropolitan Area:...

 (with 19,672,582 people, first in Brazil and 5th in the world) and Greater Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 (with 14,387,000 people). The city is the sixth most populous of the country, with 2,375,400 people (2010).

During the 18th century, Minas Gerais received many Portuguese immigrants, mainly from Northern Portugal as well as a huge number of enslaved Africans.

Belo Horizonte has a notable Italian influence
Italian Brazilian
-Italian immigration to Brazil:The Italian government claims there are 25 million Brazilians of Italian descent, which would be the largest population of Italian background outside of Italy itself. There are no actual surveys, or even verifiable calculations supporting such claims. According to...

, around 30% of the city's population have some Italian origin
Italian Brazilian
-Italian immigration to Brazil:The Italian government claims there are 25 million Brazilians of Italian descent, which would be the largest population of Italian background outside of Italy itself. There are no actual surveys, or even verifiable calculations supporting such claims. According to...

. The Italian culture is present in the cuisine, dance, and language. People of German
German Brazilian
A German Brazilian is a Brazilian person of ethnic German ancestry or origin...

, Spanish
Spanish immigration to Brazil
Spanish emigration peaked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was concentrated to Argentina and Cuba. Between 1882 and 1930, 3,297,312 Spaniards emigrated, of whom 1,594,622 went to Argentina and 1,118,960 went to Cuba...

, and Syrian-Lebanese
Arab Brazilian
An Arab Brazilian is a Brazilian citizen born in an Arabic country, or a Brazilian-born person of Arab descent, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Arabic culture.- Immigration to Brazil :...

 ancestries also make up sizeable groups.

Religion


Religion Percentage Number
Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

68.84% 1,541,185
Protestant 18.10% 405,265
No religion
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

8.04% 179,995

Source: IBGE
IBGE
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics or IBGE , is the agency responsible for statistical, geographic, cartographic, geodetic and environmental information in Brazil...

 2000.

Economy



Belo Horizonte receives large numbers of visitors, as it is in the Brazilian main economic axis, exerting influence even on other states. Both multinational and Brazilian companies, like Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 and Oi, maintain offices in the city. The service sector plays a very important role in the economy of Belo Horizonte, being responsible for 85% of the city's gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP), with the industry making up for most of the remaining 15%. Belo Horizonte has a developed industrial sector, being traditionally a hub of the Brazilian siderurgical and metallurgical
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

 industries, as the state of Minas Gerais has always been very rich in minerals, specifically iron ore.

Belo Horizonte is the distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 region and the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

. Production is centred on steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, steel products, automobiles, and textiles. Gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, and gem stones mined in the surrounding region are processed in the city.
The main industrial district of the city was set during the 1940s in Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

, a part of greater Belo Horizonte. Multinational companies like FIAT
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 (which opened its plant in Betim in 1974), Arcelor
Arcelor
Arcelor S.A. was the world's largest steel producer in terms of turnover and the second largest in terms of steel output, with a turnover of €30.2 billion and shipments of 45 million metric tons of steel in 2004...

, and Toshiba
Toshiba
is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and...

 have subsidiaries in the region, along with other textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

, cosmetic
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

, food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furnishing and refractory
Refractory
A refractory material is one that retains its strength at high temperatures. ASTM C71 defines refractories as "non-metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures, or as components of systems, that are exposed to environments above...

 companies. Between the companies headquartered in the city we can list siderurgicals Açominas (held by Gerdau
Gerdau
Gerdau is the largest producer of long steel in America, with steel mills in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. It also holds 40% stake in the Spanish company Sidenor and has a joint...

, one of the largest multinationals originated in Brazil); Usiminas
Usiminas
Usiminas is a large producer of steel in the Americas, with major steel mills in Brazil with a total capacity of 9.5 million metric tons of steel per year. The company accounts for 28 % of total steel output in Brazil. Usiminas has an installed capacity of producing 9.5 million tons of crude...

; Belgo-Mineira (held by Arcelor
Arcelor
Arcelor S.A. was the world's largest steel producer in terms of turnover and the second largest in terms of steel output, with a turnover of €30.2 billion and shipments of 45 million metric tons of steel in 2004...

); Acesita
Acesita
Aperam, before known as ArcelorMittal Inox Brasil or, formerly known as Acesita, is a biggest Brazilian manufacturer of specialty steels. Headquartered in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, the company is a supplier of stainless, silicon and special carbon steels...

 (partially held by Arcelor); mobile communication Vivo; and Telecom Italia Mobile
Telecom Italia Mobile
TIM is Telecom Italia's mobile phone brand, and runs a GSM, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA network in Italy and Brazil.In Europe, TIM is part of the FreeMove alliance.TIM Peru was sold to América Móvil and rebranded Claro...

, as well as the NYSE-listed electrical company CEMIG. Leading steel product makers Sumitomo Metals of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Vallourec of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 have also recently announced plans to construct an integrated steel works on the outskirts of the city.

There are also a large number of small enterprises in the technological sector with regional to nationwide success, particularly in the fields of computing
Computing
Computing is usually defined as the activity of using and improving computer hardware and software. It is the computer-specific part of information technology...

 and biotechonology. Because of both governmental and private funding in the diversification of its economy, the city has become an international reference in Information Technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 and Biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, and is also cited because of the advanced corporate and university research in Biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 fuel. The number of jobs in the Information sector has been growing at annual rates above 50%. The Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area, composed of 33 cities under the capital's direct influence, is home to 16% of the country's biotechnology companies, with annual sales of over R$ 550 million.

Projects in these fields are likely to expand because of integration between universities, the oil company Petrobras
Petrobras
Petróleo Brasileiro or Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, and the largest company headquartered in the Southern Hemisphere by market...

 and the Brazilian Government. Over 16% of the Brazilian biotechnological industries are located in Belo Horizonte, with annual revenues of more than US$ 550 million. During the past few years, the city has made investments in "Business-Tourism", by promoting more than 3,000 national or international events yearly. One of the largest events that ever took place in the city, the Inter-American Development Bank
Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean...

 meeting, occurred in 2005 and attracted people from everywhere in the world.

The two most important industrial clusters of the State of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 are around the cities of Juiz de Fora
Juiz de Fora
-Industry, Trade, and Culture:Juiz de Fora is the second most important industrial center in the state of Minas Gerais, despite being the fourth largest in terms of population. It was once the state's largest city, position which was held up until the beginning of the 20th century...

 and Belo Horizonte. In southern Minas Gerais, near Juiz de Fora, there is a concentration of textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 industries, which started to be established in the 19th century. Belo Horizonte and vicinities (Contagem, Betim, Nova Lima, Pedro Leopoldo, Raposos, Rio Acima, Sabará, Santa Luzia e Vespasiano) have a diversified industrial complex; even though mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s processing still have a large importance, there are important industries of vehicles, food products, textile, chemicals and others.
Several steel producers are established all around the State: Mannesmann, Belgo-Mineira, Acesita, Usiminas; there is an oil refinery in Betim, directly connected by pipes to the producing areas off shore the Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 coast; vehicle makers, like Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 (in Betim) and Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 (in Juiz de Fora) have plants in Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

.

For a long time it was marked by the predominance of its industrial sector, but from the 1990s there has been a constant expansion of the service sector economy, particularly in computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, business tourism, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

 and the making of jewelry. The city is considered to be a strategic leader in the Brazilian economy
Economy of Brazil
The economy of Brazil is the world's seventh largest by nominal GDP and eighth largest by purchasing power parity. Brazil has moderately free markets and an inward-oriented economy...

. The move towards business tourism transformed the capital into a national hub for this segment of the tourist industry.

The GDP for the city was R$ 42 151 107,690 (2008).

The GDP for the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte was R$ 98,529,388,000 (2008).

The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was R$ 17 313,06 (2008). In 2007, it was R$ 15,830.

Education


Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 are both taught as second languages.

Educational institutions


Several higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 institutions are located in Belo Horizonte, including:

Music


The band Uakti
Uakti (band)
Uakti is a Brazilian instrumental musical group that is composed of Marco Antônio Guimarães, Artur Andrés Ribeiro, Paulo Sérgio Santos, and Décio Ramos. Uakti is known for using custom-made instruments, built by the group itself.-The name:...

 - known for performing on their own musical instruments - originate in Belo Horizonte by the influence of Walter Smetak and the "Composition School from Bahia". Several rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 groups have been founded in Belo Horizonte, including Jota Quest
Jota Quest
Jota Quest is a Brazilian pop rock band. The band was founded in 1995, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais as J. Quest, but due to trademark issues with Hanna-Barbera, they renamed themselves Jota Quest...

, Pato Fu
Pato Fu
Pato Fu is a Brazilian rock band from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The band was formed by lead singer Fernanda Takai, guitarist John Ulhoa and bassist Ricardo Koctus, in 1992. Their drummer, Xande Tamietti, joined the band in 1996, as did keyboardist Lulu Camargo in 2005...

, Skank
Skank (band)
Skank is a Brazilian rock/reggae band, begun in 1991, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. , they had sold approximately 5,200,000 copies of their albums...

, 14 Bis
14 Bis (Band)
14 Bis is a Brazilian pop-rock band. The band took its name from Santos-Dumont's 14 Bis airplane.The band was formed in 1979 in the state of Minas Gerais, when the members of two bands, O Terço and "Bendegó" decided to merge...

 and Tianastácia. Clube da Esquina
Clube da Esquina
Clube da Esquina was a Brazilian music artists collective, originating in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It is also the name of a double album from 1972...

 is a musical movement that originated in the mid 1960s, and since then their members have been considered influential in music, some like Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta achieving worldwide acclaim. These include, between musicians, songwriters, composers, conductor/arranger, lyricists: Tavinho Moura, Wagner Tiso
Wagner Tiso
Wagner Tiso Veiga is a musician, arranger, conductor, pianist and composer from Brazil.-Biography:Tiso learned music theory with Paulo Moura and specialised in keyboards. In 1970, he joined Som Imaginário, working with Milton Nascimento. Tiso and Nascimento were then together in Clube da Esquina,...

, Milton Nascimento
Milton Nascimento
-Biography:Nascimento's mother was the maid Maria Nascimento. As a baby, Milton Nascimento was adopted by his mother's former employers: the couple Josino Brito Campos, a banker employee, mathematics teacher and electronic technician; and Lília Silva Campos, a music teacher and choir singer...

, Lô Borges
Lô Borges
Lô Borges is a Brazilian songwriter, singer and guitarist.He was one of the founders of Clube da Esquina, a music collective originating in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. He co-authored with Milton Nascimento the album Clube da Esquina in 1972, which was a milestone in Brazilian popular...

, Beto Guedes
Beto Guedes
Alberto de Castro Guedes, , is a famous guitar player, singer and brazilian songwriter.-Biography:Beto Guedes has been playing playing in bands since he was a teenage...

, Flávio Venturini, Toninho Horta
Toninho Horta
Toninho Horta is a virtuoso electric and nylon-string guitar player; his music could be defined as Brazilian music.He has developed his own very personal style...

, Márcio Borges
Márcio Borges
Márcio Borges is a retired Brazilian football defender. He started his career playing for the Botafogo youth team. In Europe he played for Swiss side Yverdon Sports and German clubs Waldhof Mannheim and Arminia Bielefeld. He retired in September 2007.-External links:...

 and Fernando Brant, among others. Belo Horizonte is the home of the experimental composer Prof.Dr.Andersen Viana(www.andersen.mus.br), which music (around 300 music works, from solos up to opera) has been edited as well as received more than twenty compositional awards in Brazil, Europe and the USA. Belo Horizonte is considered a reference about indie music in Brazil, since the city frequently receive festivals and bands of its kind, like Belle & Sebastian, Keane, and more recently, Phoenix.

Belo Horizonte is also known as the Brazilian Capital of Extreme Metal, hence the huge number of influentional bands founded there, specially in the eighties. The most important ones are
  • Overdose
    Overdose (disambiguation)
    Drug overdose is the ingestion or application of a medication in quantities greater than are recommendedOverdose may refer to:-Music:*Overdose , a 1994 album by Pizzicato Five*Overdose , a song by AC/DC...

    , the first metal band from BH;
  • Sepultura
    Sepultura
    Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte, formed in 1984. The band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and ultimately groove metal realms during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments melding nu metal, hardcore punk and industrial.Sepultura...

    , the best known Brazilian metal band;
  • Sarcófago
    Sarcófago
    Sarcófago was an influential Brazilian extreme metal band. They were fronted by Sepultura's original singer, Wagner Lamounier, and Geraldo Minelli. They have been described as Brazil's most controversial metal band....

    , one of the founders of modern black metal
    Black metal
    Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beat drumming, raw recording, and unconventional song structure....

    .

Other significant groups are: Chakal, WitchHammer, Drowned, Holocausto, Sextrash.

Museums


Belo Horizonte features a number of museums including the Mineiro Museum, the Abílio Barreto Historic Museum, Arts and Workmanship Museum, a Natural History Museum and the UFMG Botanic Gardens, a telephone museum, the Pampulha Art Museum, the Professor Taylor Gramke Mineralogy Museum, and the UFMG Conservatory. The puppet theatre group Giramundo was established here in 1970, and continues to maintain a puppetry museum hosting a collection of their creations.

Natural History Museum and the UFMG Botanic Gardens


The Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden holds an important treasure of folk art – the Nativity of Pipiripau. Created during the 20th century, the craftsman Raimundo Machado, synchronizes 586 figures, distributed in 45 scenes, which tell the story of life and death of Jesus, mixed with its variety of arts and crafts.

With 600,000 sq. m. of green area, the UFMG
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais is a federal university located in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The students are admitted through yearly exams called vestibular....

 Museum of Natural History and Botanic Garden (MHN-JB) is a privileged ecological space that enables visitors to experience nature in a rich, multidisciplinary way. For 30 years, the mission of the MHN-JB has been to do research, to educate, and to meet the community’s demand for service. It covers the areas of Anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, Archeology, Environmental Education, Natural History
Natural History
Natural history is the scientific study of plants or animals.Natural History may also refer to:In science and medicine:* Natural History , Naturalis Historia, a 1st-century work by Pliny the Elder...

, Mineralogy
Mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...

, and Paleontology
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

. It has an Ecological Amphitheater, a Free Art Atelier, a Greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

, and an Interactive Room. One of its traditional exhibitions is the Pipiripau Nativity Crèche.

Palácio das Artes


Palácio das Artes, inaugurated in 1970, is the largest and most varied cultural complex in Minas Gerais. It comprises three theaters, three art galleries, a movie theater, a bookstore a coffee shop and photography exhibition space. It offers high quality programs for the several expressions in arts. The building was projected by Oscar Niemeyer and it also houses the Minas Gerais Handcraft Center.

Pampulha Art Museum (MAP)



The Pampulha Art Museum is located at the Pampulha Lagoon in Belo Horizonte in a building that originally housed the Pampulha Casino. The building was projected by Oscar Niemeyer, commissioned by the then mayor and future president of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek in the early 1940s, with external grounds by landscaper Roberto Burle Marx.

The building was the first project of Oscar Niemeyer. It was an old casino, closed in 1946. In 1957, opened with the Art Museum. His design was influenced by the principles of Le Corbusier. The gardens of Burle Marx are an tribute to the tropical green. There is three sculptures by Ceschiatti, Zamoiski and José Pedrosa. In 1996, it won new multimedia rooms, library, café bar, souvenir shop and technical infrastructure. The MAP has an impressive collection of 1.600 works.

The Museum is an integral part of the “Pampulha Architectural Complex” a watershed in the history of modern architecture in Brazil and internationally.

Theatre


Every two years, FIT BH, The International Theater Festival of Belo Horizonte, takes place in the city. This attracts artists from all over Brazil and worldwide. With the merger of two projects that would happen separately in 1994, one stage based, organized by the Francisco Nunes Theater, and the other street based, idealized by Grupo Galpão, came FIT-BH Palco & Rua. Produced every two years, under responsibility from the Belo Horizonte City Hall
City hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...

, through the Municipal Culture Office and the Association Movimento Teatro de Grupo of Minas Gerais, in the program there are street and stage shows, and also seminars, workshops, courses, talks, etc.

Dance


Several notable artistic groups originated in Belo Horizonte. Grupo Corpo
Grupo Corpo
Grupo Corpo are a Brazilian dance theatre company founded in 1975. The group performs internationally and has been acclaimed by critics. Their routines are particularly known for challenging audience perceptions of ballet and modern dance .-History:...

, which is perhaps the most famous contemporary dance
Contemporary dance
Contemporary dance is a genre of concert dance that employs compositional philosophy, rather than choreography, to guide unchoreographed movement...

 group in the country, was formed in the city in 1975. In March and April is the performance program from FID promoting contemporary dance in Belo Horizonte. The program presents groups from Belo Horizonte. For this project the priority invitations go to the shows created by groups and choreographers living in the city. The purpose is to take shows and other activities such as workshops, talks and video screenings to the less privileged regions of the city regarding access to cultural assets. Belo Horizonte is also host to the Centro Mineiro de dancas classicas school.

Food and drink


The regional food and the "Cachaça
Cachaça
Cachaça is a liquor made from fermented sugarcane.It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha and many other names...

", international drink from the State of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 are the most popular and top rated of this city. Belo Horizonte hosts the "Comida di Buteco" festival, in which a panel selects 41 bar
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

s to see and elect which one makes the best appetizers. Pão de queijo, feijão tropeiro, ribs, chicken and okra served with rich, brown gravy, thick, juicy pork sirloin with tutu. With so much to make one's mouth water, the cuisine of Minas Gerais has become famous around the world. The city abounds with pizza shops, barbecue houses, fine restaurants of various nationalities, and much more: in the "capital of neighborhood bars."

Airports


Belo Horizonte is served by three airports:
  • Tancredo Neves/Confins International Airport
    Tancredo Neves International Airport
    Tancredo Neves International Airport , formerly called Confins International Airport, is the main airport serving Belo Horizonte, Brazil, located in the adjoining municipality of Confins...

    , dedicated to domestic and international traffic. It is located in the municipalities of Lagoa Santa
    Lagoa Santa
    For Lagoa Santa, a municipality in Goiás see Lagoa Santa, GoiásLagoa Santa is a municipality and region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil...

     and Confins
    Confins
    Confins is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2006 is estimated to be 5,802 people. The area of the municipality is 42.008 km². The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte...

    , 38 kilometres (23.6 mi) from Belo Horizonte, and was opened in January 1984. Plans for gradual expansion to meet growing demand had been already drawn up from the airport's inception. The airport has one of the lowest rates of shutdown for bad weather in the country. It ran at limited capacity until 2005, when a large proportion of Pampulha Airport air traffic was transferred to Confins.
  • Pampulha - Carlos Drummond de Andrade Airport, dedicated to domestic traffic;
  • Carlos Prates Airport
    Carlos Prates Airport
    Carlos Prates Airport is one of the airports serving Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It is named after the neighborhood where it is located and this, in turn, was named after an Engineer that planned parts of Belo Horizonte.It is operated by Infraero.-History:...

    , dedicated to general aviation.

Highways


The city is connected to the rest of Minas Gerais state and the country by a number of roadways. Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

 has the country's largest federal highway network.
  • BR-040 connects Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

     (going south) and Brasília
    Brasília
    Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

     (going northwest). It also links other cities in the state, such as Juiz de Fora
    Juiz de Fora
    -Industry, Trade, and Culture:Juiz de Fora is the second most important industrial center in the state of Minas Gerais, despite being the fourth largest in terms of population. It was once the state's largest city, position which was held up until the beginning of the 20th century...

    , Conselheiro Lafaiete
    Conselheiro Lafaiete
    Conselheiro Lafaiete is a city of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is situated 96 km south from Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, in one of the most important economic areas of Brazil. The population was 113.019 inhabitants, in 2006. It's one of the most populated cities of MG.-See...

    , Santos Dumont, Sete Lagoas
    Sete Lagoas
    Sete Lagoas is a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The municipal area is 537 km² while the population was 217,506 in 2007.-Location:...

    , and Paracatu
    Paracatu, Minas Gerais
    Paracatu is a town in the western part of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil having 79,739 inhabitants . Its area is of 8.232 km²...

    .
  • BR-262
    BR-262
    BR-262 is an east-west highway connecting the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.The highway runs from Vitória state capital of Espírito Santo to the Bolivian border at Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul....

     begins in Mato Grosso do Sul
    Mato Grosso do Sul
    Mato Grosso do Sul is one of the states of Brazil.Neighboring Brazilian states are Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. It also borders the countries of Paraguay and Bolivia to the west. The economy of the state is largely based on agriculture and cattle-raising...

     and ends in Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

    , crossing Minas Gerais
    Minas Gerais
    Minas Gerais is one of the 26 states of Brazil, of which it is the second most populous, the third richest, and the fourth largest in area. Minas Gerais is the Brazilian state with the largest number of Presidents of Brazil, the current one, Dilma Rousseff, being one of them. The capital is the...

     from west to east. It links Belo Horizonte to Pará de Minas
    Pará de Minas
    Pará de Minas is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais.- History:The birth of Para de Minas is closely associated with the locomotion of pathfinders and adventurers seeking gold and precious stones in its surrounding areas in the late seventeenth century...

    , Araxá
    Araxá
    Araxá is a city and municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The population was 87,764 inhabitants and the area of the municipality is 1,283 km², with 345 km² making up the urban perimeter.-Geography:...

    , Manhuaçu
    Manhuaçu
    Manhuaçu is a city and municipality in Eastern Minas Gerais state, in Brazil. The population of the municipality was 67,723 inhabitants with 40,751 in the urban area and 26,372 in the rural area. Located 260 km from the state capital of Belo Horizonte, it is near the important road junction...

    , Uberaba
    Uberaba
    Uberaba is a city and municipality in the west of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Its population is 296.000 with an area of 4529.7 km², giving a density of 60.71 people per km². It is located on a plateau at an elevation of 785 meters and is in the Uberaba River floodplain...

    , Governador Valadares
    Governador Valadares
    Governador Valadares is a Brazilian city in the state of Minas Gerais. In 2006, its population was 260,405 inhabitants.It is an economical center of the middle Valley of the Rio Doce, making a significant influence on the east and northeast of Minas Gerais and local authorities of the state of the...

    , and Vitória, the capital of Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

     state.
  • BR-381
    Rodovia Fernão Dias
    The Rodovia Fernão Dias is a federal highway which runs in the Brazilian states of São Paulo and southern region of Minas Gerais...

     is an important federal highway. It connects Belo Horizonte to São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

    .
  • MG-010 is a state highway that connects the capital to the Tancredo Neves International Airport
    Tancredo Neves International Airport
    Tancredo Neves International Airport , formerly called Confins International Airport, is the main airport serving Belo Horizonte, Brazil, located in the adjoining municipality of Confins...

    , itself located in the municipalities of Confins and Lagoa Santa, which are part of the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte. Starting in 2005, several flights were transferred from the Pampulha Regional Airport to the international airport. To improve access to the international airport, MG-010 is being expanded (effectively duplicating its lanes).


The city is also served by other minor roads such as state highways MG-020, MG-050, MG-030, and MG-433. There is also an East-West Express Way, which goes from the city to the nearby industrial centers of Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

 and Betim
Betim
Betim is a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located at around . The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitan of Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte....

 (together having a population of ca. 900,000), and Anel Rodoviário, a kind of "beltway" - indeed it is not circumferential, but connects many highways, such as the federal (BR-ones) so it is not necessary for a large number of cars and trucks to pass through the city center. Many of these road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

s are in poor condition, but in the last years many revitalization and rebuilding projects have been started.

Bus system


The bus system has a large number of bus lines going through all parts in the city, and is administrated by BHTRANS. Among the upcoming projects are the expansion of the integration between bus lines and the metro
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

, with integrated stations, many already in use. And the construction of bus corridors, with lanes and bus stops exclusively for the bus lines. Keeping buses from traffic congestions, making the trips more viable for commuters.

Metro


Belo Horizonte Metro
Belo Horizonte Metro
The Belo Horizonte Metro is a metro system serving the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The system has one line which is 28.2 km long, has 19 stations and carries 145,000 passengers per day. The system is operated by Compania Brasiliera de Trens Urbanos...

 or MetroBH started operating at the end of 1970s. There is one line, with 19 stations, from Vilarinho to Eldorado Station, in Contagem
Contagem
Contagem is a city in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. It is located only 21 kilometers from the capital, Belo Horizonte and forms part of a metropolitan area with a population of 4.8 million....

, transporting over 160,000 people daily. There is a line in construction from Santa Tereza to Barreiro, and another one from Pampulha
Pampulha
Pampulha is a man-made lagoon located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It is also the name of the surrounding residential neighborhood and is one of the city's administrative regions....

 to Savassi in planning. There is also a project for the expansion for the line 1, from Vilarinho to Ribeirão das Neves
Ribeirão das Neves
Ribeirão das Neves is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitana de Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte.-See also:...

 and from Eldorado to Betim
Betim
Betim is a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is located at around . The city belongs to the mesoregion Metropolitan of Belo Horizonte and to the microregion of Belo Horizonte....

.

Landmarks



Belo Horizonte has several significant cultural landmarks, many of them situated in the Pampulha
Pampulha
Pampulha is a man-made lagoon located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. It is also the name of the surrounding residential neighborhood and is one of the city's administrative regions....

 district, where there are notable examples of Brazilian contemporary architecture. These include one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world, the Mineirão
Mineirão
Mineirão , officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto established in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the second largest in the country, after Maracanã...

 stadium, and the São Francisco de Assis Church
Church of Saint Francis of Assisi
The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is a church in Pampulha district of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. It was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the organic modern style...

, widely known as Igreja da Pampulha, designed by Brazilian Modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

. In Pampulha there is also the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais is a federal university located in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The students are admitted through yearly exams called vestibular....

 campus, whose buildings themselves are important contributions to the city's architecture. Other notable Pampulha buildings include the Mesbla and Niemeyer buildings, in addition to the headquarters of corporations such as Usiminas
Usiminas
Usiminas is a large producer of steel in the Americas, with major steel mills in Brazil with a total capacity of 9.5 million metric tons of steel per year. The company accounts for 28 % of total steel output in Brazil. Usiminas has an installed capacity of producing 9.5 million tons of crude...

, Seculus, and Telemig Celular.

In Downtown Belo Horizonte, are located the neo-Gothic Boa Viagem Cathedral, the church of São José, the Praça da Estação (Station Square), which is an old train station that now is also the Museum of Arts and Workmanship, the Municipal Park, the famous Sete de Setembro Square, where an obelisk built in 1922 marks the one hundred years of Brazilian independence from Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

.

Near Central area, in the Lourdes neighborhood, is located the Lourdes Basílica, which is an example of Gothic Revival style
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

. The Nossa Senhora de Fátima Church, in Santo Agostinho neighborhood, is situated in Carlos Chagas
Carlos Chagas
Carlos Justiniano Ribeiro Chagas, or Carlos Chagas , was a Brazilian sanitary physician, scientist and bacteriologist who worked as a clinician and researcher. He discovered Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis in 1909, while working at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Rio de Janeiro...

 Square. Both churches are referred to as the Assembléia Church and the Assembléia Square because of their proximity to the state's legislative assembly
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branch.The name is used by a number of member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as a number of Latin American countries....

.

Next to the downtown region is the famous Savassi district, known for fine restaurants and as a center of cultural events as well as the best of the city's nightlife. Many landmarks are located there, such as the Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square), and its surrounding buildings, including the former Executive Offices of the governor called the Palácio da Liberdade (Liberty Palace), the first building to be finished during the city's planned development in the late 1890s. The govern offices moved in 2010 to the "Cidade Administrativa", which are a few buildings outside the city. Nowadays, the "palaces" are being turned into museums. Still on Savassi, the meeting point of many social groups, specially the youth, is "Praça da Savassi" (Savassi Square), which is not exactly a square, and more a crossing between two major avenues (Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II...

 and Cristóvão Colombo), and gathers some of the most freqüented bars and pubs (called locally "botecos" or "botequins").

Another important landmark is Praça do Papa (Pope's Square), located at a high point south of the downtown area, with its great view of the entire city. It is named for the July 1, 1980 visit by John Paul II, who held a youth mass there. The nearby Parque das Mangabeiras (Mangabeiras Park) features extensive wildlife, and-owing to its considerable size-has its own bus service, which operates solely within the confines of the park.

On Sundays, Afonso Pena Avenue hosts Latin America's biggest open market. This is the Market of Arts and Handicrafts, most commonly known as Feira Hippie (hippie fair). Every Sunday morning 70,000 visitors find food, drinks, clothes, furniture, earrings, shoes and almost anything else.

Zoological Park and Botanical Garden


A center for conservation and preservation of animals and plants it has also developed environmental education projects. The Zoo, which encompasses a total area of 1.4 million square meters, is located at the Foundation’s headquarters and is regarded as one of the most complete in Latin America. It has a collection of close to 900 animals representing 200 species, from Brazil and other parts of the world, as well as the first public butterfly sanctuary in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

.

Pampulha Ecological Park is administered by the Zoo-Botanical Fundation of Belo Horizonte and was inaugurated in May 21 of 2004. It’s 30 acre (12 ha) of green area that offers to the population and the tourists a permanent programming of environmental, cultural and patrimonial education.

Belo Horizonte Christmas Tree


The floating Christmas Tree at Lagoa da Pampulha, in Belo Horizonte, stands right by the St. Francis of Assisi Church, one of the architectural masterpieces designed by Oscar Niemeyer at BH's popular park.

From December, people can admire the Christmas lighting installed by Cemig
CEMIG
CEMIG is a Brazilian power company headquartered in Belo Horizonte capital of Minas Gerais. The company is one of the largest power generator and distributor in Brazil being responsible for 12% of the national distribution....

 at Liberty Square. Belo Horizonte win a Christmas special with suspended angels, stars, bells, canes and Christmas balls. Cemig also illuminate, and Liberty Square, the Palace of Mangabeiras Barbican Avenue, the headquarters of Cemig, the City Administration, the Legislative Assembly, the Public Prosecutor, the Police Command Military (Copom), the Fire Department and St. Joseph Church.

Sports



As in the rest of Brazil, football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 is the most popular sport among locals. Belo Horizonte has three professional football teams: América
América Futebol Clube (MG)
América Futebol Clube is a traditional Brazilian football team from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, founded on April 30, 1912....

, Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro , are a Brazilian football club based in Belo Horizonte, the oldest in the city. Founded in 1908, they play in the Campeonato Mineiro and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A or Brasileirão. Atlético Mineiro have been Brazilian champions once, state winners a record 40 times and...

 and Cruzeiro
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and are one of the only five clubs to have never been relegated, along with Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo and Internacional. Founded on January 2, 1921, they are only one of three clubs to have participated in...

 - Cruzeiro
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and are one of the only five clubs to have never been relegated, along with Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo and Internacional. Founded on January 2, 1921, they are only one of three clubs to have participated in...

 and Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro
Clube Atlético Mineiro , are a Brazilian football club based in Belo Horizonte, the oldest in the city. Founded in 1908, they play in the Campeonato Mineiro and Campeonato Brasileiro Série A or Brasileirão. Atlético Mineiro have been Brazilian champions once, state winners a record 40 times and...

 are among the most popular clubs in Brazil, with Cruzeiro
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is a Brazilian football team, from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and are one of the only five clubs to have never been relegated, along with Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo and Internacional. Founded on January 2, 1921, they are only one of three clubs to have participated in...

 being notable for its international appearances as well. The city also has one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, the Mineirão
Mineirão
Mineirão , officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto established in 1965 in Belo Horizonte, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the second largest in the country, after Maracanã...

, opened in 1965. The older Independência Stadium hosted a legendary victory of the United States World Cup Team 1950 in a 1-0 triumph over England (see England v United States (1950)
England v United States (1950)
On 29 June 1950, at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the United States defeated England 1–0 in a group match. This unexpected result has led to the match being described as the "Miracle on Grass", in reference to the 1980 Miracle on Ice, in which the US ice hockey team beat the Soviet Union. The...

). Belo Horizonte is one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, for which Brazil is the host nation.
Besides football, Belo Horizonte has one of the largest attendances at volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 matches in the whole country. They are played either at Mineirinho, home of Brazil's national volleyball team, or at Minas Tênis Clube
Minas Tênis Clube
Minas Tênis Clube is the men's professional basketball branch from Minas Tênis Clube, a multisports club from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.-Titles:Campeonato Sudamericano de Clubes* Winners : 2007Amsterdam International Tournament...

.

Human development


The human development of Belo Horizonte varies greatly by locality, reflecting the city's spatial social inequality and vast socioeconomic inequalities. There are neighborhoods that had very high human development index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

es in 2000 (equal to or greater than the indexes of some Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n countries), but also those in the lower range (in line with, for example, North Africa).
Highest-scoring neighborhoods and localities:
  • Carmo/Sion (0.973) - (greater than Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     - 0.968) However, it should be noted that due to the close proximity of Favelas and the socially dispossed, many of these areas unsafe especially at night, where inadequate security is provided and a high crime rate exists
  • Cruzeiro/Anchieta/Funcionários (0.970) - (greater than Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     - 0.968)
  • Grajau/Gutierrez (0.965) - (greater than Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     - 0.962)
  • Belvedere/Mangabeiras/Comiteco (0.964) - (greater than Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     - 0.962)
  • Serra/São Lucas (0.953) - (equal to Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     - 0.953)

Food as a right


In 1993, under mayor Patrus Ananias de Souza, the city started a series of innovations based on its citizens having the "right to food". These include, for example, creating farmers' market
Farmers' market
A farmers' market consists of individual vendors—mostly farmers—who set up booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, to sell produce, meat products, fruits and sometimes prepared foods and beverages...

s in the town to enable direct sales, and regularly surveying current market prices and posting the results across the city. The city's process of participatory budgeting
Participatory budgeting
Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, and a type of participatory democracy, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget...

 was linked with these innovations, as a result of which the infant mortality rate was reduced by 50% in a decade. There is also some evidence that these programs have helped support a higher quality of life for the local farmers partnering with the city, and that this may also be having positive effects on biodiversity in the Atlantic Rainforest around the city. The city's development of these policies recently garnered the first "Future Policy Award" from the World Future Council
World Future Council
The World Future Council is an independent body formally founded in Hamburg, Germany on 10 May 2007. "Formed to speak on behalf of policy solutions that serve the interests of future generations", it includes members active in governmental bodies, civil society, business, science and the arts...

, a group of 50 activists (including Frances Moore Lappé
Frances Moore Lappé
Frances Moore Lappé is the author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. She is the co-founder of three national organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises, as well as solutions now emerging worldwide through what she calls...

, Vandana Shiva
Vandana Shiva
Vandana Shiva , is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D...

, Wes Jackson
Wes Jackson
-Early life and Education:Jackson was born and raised on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. After earning a BA in biology from Kansas Wesleyan University, an MA in botany from the University of Kansas, and a PhD in genetics from North Carolina State University, Wes Jackson established and served as chair...

, and Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour is a Senegalese singer, percussionist and occasional actor. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, in Senegal and much of Africa, "perhaps the most famous singer alive." He helped develop a style of popular music in Senegal, known in the Serer language as mbalax, a type of music...

) concerned with the development and recognition of policies to promote a just and sustainable future.

The city has also undertaken an internationally heralded project called Vila Viva ("Living Village" in Portuguese) that promises to "urbanize" the poorest areas (favela
Favela
A favela is the generally used term for a shanty town in Brazil. In the late 18th century, the first settlements were called bairros africanos . This was the place where former slaves with no land ownership and no options for work lived. Over the years, many freed black slaves moved in...

s
), relocating families from areas with high risk of floods and landslides, but keeping them in the same neighborhood, paving main avenues to allow public transportation, police and postal service to have access to those areas. And all the work is done with 80% of locals, reducing unemployment and increasing family income. Former mayor Fernando da Mata Pimentel
Fernando da Mata Pimentel
Fernando Damata Pimentel was the Mayor of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil . Mayor Pimentel is a member of the Workers' Party .In 2005 he was a finalist for World Mayor.-External links:*...

 was nominated for World Mayor
World Mayor
World Mayor is a biennial award organized by The City Mayors Foundation since 2004. It intends to raise the profile of mayors worldwide, as well as honour those who have served their communities well and who have contributed to the well-being of cities, nationally and internationally...

 in 2005 on the strength of these and other programs.

Sister cities


Belo Horizonte's sister cities
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 are:
Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

, Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 (1968) Zahlé
Zahlé
Zahlé is the capital and largest city of Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon. With around 50,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon, after Beirut, Tripoli and Jounieh...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 (1974) Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (1975) Porto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (1986) Minsk
Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 (1987) Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 (1995) Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (1996)
Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

, Palestinian Authority (2001) Homs
Homs
Homs , previously known as Emesa , is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Homs Governorate. It is above sea level and is located north of Damascus...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (2001) Masaya
Masaya
Masaya, culturally known as the City of Flowers, is the capital city of Masaya department. It is situated approximately 14 km west of Granada and 31 km southeast from Managua. The town of Masaya is situated just East of Masaya Volcano , an active volcano from which the city takes its name...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 (2002) Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 (2003) Fort Lauderdale, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (2003) Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa , and commonly referred as Tegus , is the capital of Honduras and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela. Founded on September 29, 1578 by the Spanish, it became the country's capital on October 30, 1880 under President Marco Aurelio Soto...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 (2004) Cuenca
Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca is the capital of the Azuay Province. It is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2500 m above sea level...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 (2004) Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (2006)

Official

Belo Horizonte Portal Official homepage Estado de Minas Gerais Newspaper

Education

PUC-MG - the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais UFMG - Federal University of Minas Gerais CEFET-MG - Federal Center of Technologic Education of Minas Gerais Escola Americana de Belo Horizonte - (American School of Belo Horizonte) Escola Internacional Fundação Torino (School of Torino International Foundation)

Tourism


Food security

  • Video about Belo Horizonte's receipt of the World Future Policy award
  • Presentations and papers on Belo Horizonte by Brazilian Canadian economist Cecilia Rocha, Toronto Food Policy Council coordinator Wayne Roberts
    Wayne Roberts
    Wayne Roberts is a Canadian food policy analyst and writer, widely respected for his role as the manager of the [Toronto Food Policy Council] from 2000-2010. The TFPC is a citizen body of 30 food activists and experts that enjoys an international reputation for its innovative approach to food...

    , and former city food security administrator Adriana Aranha at Ryerson University
    Ryerson University
    Ryerson University is a public research university located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its urban campus is adjacent to Yonge-Dundas Square located at the busiest intersection in Downtown Toronto. The majority of its buildings are in the blocks northeast of the square in Toronto's Garden...

    's Centre for Studies in Food Security
  • "The City that Ended Hunger", Frances Moore Lappé's essay on Belo Horizonte's programs in Yes! Magazine

Culture

Comida di Buteco Festival of bar appetizers.