The fifth-largest city and third-largest metro area in Brazil, Belo Horizonte was planned as the capital of the historical state of Minas Gerais. With large avenues, unlike many others cities in the state, Belo Horizonte was also planned to be the state’s primary metropolis, a role which it has played very well.
Belo Horizonte (Portuguese for "beautiful horizon", is the capital of Minas Gerais state, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. Belo Horizonte - or "Beagá" is also known like Cidade Jardim, the "Garden City".
The first settlements in the region occurred in the early 1700s, but the city as it is known today was planned and constructed in the 1890s, in order to replace Ouro Preto as the capital of Minas Gerais. It is nowadays well known for the contrast between contemporary and classical buildings, being in fact the location of many modern Brazilian architectural icons, most notably the Igreja de São Francisco de Assis.
The city offers interesting leisure areas, theatres boasting an intense artistic-cultural production, good and varied cuisine, exquisite handcrafts available on the markets and specialised shops, and maintains a traditional characteristic: the typical regional hospitality. Economic development has been proceeding through the professionalisation of many different tourism segments, above all the areas of events and business.
The Confins International Airport connects Belo Horizonte with many Brazilian cities and also operates some international flights. The city is home to the Federal University of Minas Gerais or UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais).
As in the rest of Brazil, football is the most popular sport among locals. Belo Horizonte has two of the most successful teams in the country, and the city also has one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto.