Belo Horizonte: The patrimony of a cultural capital city

(Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte)

Belo Horizonte City- B. H. or “Beagá” for the more intimates — can easily boast the title as being the cultural capital of Brazil. It is located between mountains, surrounded by waterfalls, and historical cities; it is the state capital of the state of Minas Gerais and it has a vast architectural patrimony, great museums, and gastronomy options admired all over Brazil. It was founded at the end of the century in 1897. Belo Horizonte was planned and built to be a political and administrative capital for Minas Gerais State as to substitute “Ouro Preto” (Black Gold), the city symbolizing the exploration of gold in the region. And from then on, it started to coexist with the past and present, side-by-side.

The architecture of the city, for example, makes it possible for perfect harmony among constructions from the XIX century and post-modern sites by Oscar Niemeyer spread out around the city. One significant part of Brazilian history is present not only in the streets, as countless museums are found in the city. The Cultural Circuit of the Freedom Square was created by the local government, considered as the most important integrated cultural spaces in the Country, including diverse museums and other cultural spaces, such as a library and planetarium, as well as stores and a café. The gastronomical delights are centralized in the Central Market place, that reunites 450 booths, offering a range of tropical fruits and even delicacies that have made it become the Minas Gerais culinary icon, with such items as “queijo minas” (Minas white cheese), “doce de leite” (dulce de leche), “pão de queijo” (cheese buns), and “cachaça” (sugarcane brandy).

Belo Horizonte is a passionate city. There is a thriving and diversified economy with typical bustling crowds of a large metropolis. The parks, squares, and other green areas make the city a reference for sustainability. The former gold mining had transformed the quality of life of the population, into one of the best in Latin America, according to the UN. BH is also a city that never sleeps, just like São Paulo, but certainly, it is more bohemian. It is known as the national capital of sidewalk bars, as there are more bars per capita than any other city in Brazil.

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