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Belo Horizonte (bəlˌo͝orēzôNˈtĭ) [Port.,=beautiful horizon], city, 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 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.