Belo Horizonte Landmarks and Monuments
(Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Belo Horizonte contains numerous stylish landmarks, many of which are excellent examples of Brazilian modernist architecture and based around the vibrant Pampulha area, which is where you will find the famous Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis (Church of St. Francis of Assisi).
Dominating the Nova Lima area of Belo Horizonte with its dramatic needle-like appearance, the Torre Alta Vila is certainly one landmark that you will find hard to miss and most tourists who come here tend to take photographs of both the structure and its spectacular cityscape panoramas.
Other important landmarks in Belo Horizonte include both the Palacio da Liberdade (Palace of Freedom) and the Catedral Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Voyage), as well as the Praca do Papa (Plaza of the Pope), which was actually visited by John Paul II in 1980.
Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis (Church of St. Francis of Assisi)
Address: Avenida Otacilio Negrao de Lima, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3427 1644
A truly stunning building located on the shore of the famous Pampulha Lagoon
, the Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis, or Church of St. Francis of Assisi, was designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Inaugurated in 1943, the church features stylish curved lines and elegant contemporary architecture, and in fact was first considered to be so highly controversial and 'outlandish' in design that it was not actually used as a place of worship for many years. These days, things couldn't be more different and the city has developed something of a love affair with this unusual church.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00
Torre Alta Vila (Alta Vila Tower)
Address: Rua Senador Milton Campos 115, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3011 9595
The Alta Vila Tower measures in at just over 100 metres / 328 feet in height and from its panoramic Sky Lounge restaurant at the top, you will be treated to some truly awesome views of the surrounding city and distant mountains of Minas Gerais. A popular branch of the Hard Rock Cafe is located here, along with a small group of shops and the Convention Bela Vista venue, which hosts various events throughout the year.
Open hours: daily
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais)
Address: Avenida Antonion Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3409 4007
The buildings of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais certainly contribute to the overall architecture in the city and together make up one of Brazil's top five universities. Called home by almost 40,000 students and some 4,500 staff, this is education on an epic scale, offering a total of 75 individual undergraduate degrees. The university was founded in 1927, within the neighbourhood of Pampulha, and over the years has produced many famous Brazilians, including Juscelino Kubitschek - the president of Brazil
between the years of 1956 and 1961.
Open hours: daily
Palacio do Governo / Palacio da Liberdade (Government Palace / Palace of Liberty / Freedom)
Address: Praca da Liberdade, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3250 6011
Serving as the residence for the current seat of government in the state of Minas Gerais, the Palacio da Liberdade is a majestic structure dating back to 1897, when it was actually the very first building of significance to be finished during the planned development of the city. The palace is known for its mixture of architectural styles, with strong neoclassical influences, and boasts an especially elaborate interior, complete with art nouveau staircase. A number of former Brazilian presidents have been guests of the palace.
Open hours: first Sunday each month - 08:00 to 14:00
Catedral Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem (Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Voyage)
Address: Rua Sergipe 175, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3222 2361
Historically many religious buildings have stood in this very spot, although none quite so grand and imposing as the Catedral Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, which was completed in 1932, after some 20 years' worth of construction work. Known in English as the 'Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Voyage', this important Belo landmark is typically neo-Gothic in style and features numerous interesting stone carvings. A wooden image of the cathedral's namesake, the Senhora da Boa Viagem, is located at the altar.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested