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Belo Horizonte(bəl'o͝orēzôN`tĭ) [Port.,=beautiful horizon], city (1996 pop. 2,091,770), capital of Minas Gerais state, E Brazil. The distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural and mining region, Belo Horizonte is the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex; its chief industries are furniture, textiles, food processing, and publishing. Belo Horizonte is also a transportation hub, with direct highway connections with Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. A small airport is located in Pampulha, a suburb.
Belo Horizonte was Brazil's first planned metropolis and was built (1895–97) to replace Ouro PrêtoOuro Prêto
[Port.,=black gold], city (1996 pop. 61,606), Minas Gerais state, E Brazil. Founded as Vila Rica in the gold rush near the end of the 17th cent., it became a prosperous 18th-century mining town, a cultural center, and the chief seat of the abortive move for
..... Click the link for more information. 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 NiemeyerNiemeyer Soares, Oscar
, 1907–2012, Brazil's foremost 20th-century architect, b. Rio de Janeiro. Influenced by Le Corbusier, Niemeyer developed an architecture noted for its daring conception, purity of line, and formal lyricism; it is frequently characterized by curving
..... Click the link for more information. and with paintings by Candido PortinariPortinari, Cândido
, 1903–62, Brazilian painter. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro. In 1928 a European fellowship enabled him to visit France, Italy, Spain, and England.
..... Click the link for more information. , is famous. A new state administrative complex, also designed by Niemeyer, opened on the city's outskirts in 2010.