Belo Horizonte was Brazil's first planned metropolis and was built (1895–97) to replace Ouro Prêto as the state capital. With its wide, tree-lined avenues, skyscrapers, and spacious parks, and with its beautiful surroundings and bracing climate, Belo Horizonte is a fashionable resort. It is also a leading cultural center, with museums, universities, libraries, and sports stadiums. The Church of São Francisco, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and with paintings by Candido Portinari, is famous. A new state administrative complex, also designed by Niemeyer, opened on the city's outskirts in 2010.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography