Belo Horizonte Museums
(Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
The museums of Belo Horizonte offer many opportunities to enjoy different aspects of the city's history. Particularly engaging is the Museu Histórico Abilio Barreto (Abilio Barreto History Museum) and its art exhibitions, and the puppetry displays at the Museu Giramundo (Giramundo Museum).
Highly suitable for families holidaying in this part of Brazil, the Museu de Ciencias Naturais (Belo Horizonte Museum of Natural Sciences) is overflowing with natural history exhibits of all kinds. Along with the elephant skeletons, giant skeletons of South American dinosaurs and stuffed Brazilian animals is a butterfly garden (Jardim de Borboletas), where large butterflies and moths can be observed at all stages of their lives, grouped into four 'modules' of dawn, day, dusk and night.
Museu Histórico Abilio Barreto (Abilio Barreto History Museum)
Address: Avenida Prudente de Morais 202, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3277 8861
Located on the southern side of the Praca da Savassi and within the Cidade Jardim area, the Museu Histórico Abilio Barreto celebrates the history of Belo Horizonte and features an impressive restored farmhouse. This important colonial building is actually all that remains today of the former Curral del Rey village, which was destroyed in the latter part of the 19th century to make space for the newly planned city. There are innumerable exhibits relating to the incorporation of the city in 1897, including various historical paintings and photographs.
Open hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, Friday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00, Thursday - 10:00 to 21:00
Museu de Ciencias Naturais (Museum of Natural Sciences)
Address: Rua Dom José Gaspar 290, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3319 4152
Many exhibits at the Museu de Ciencias Naturais are displayed as part of dioramas, in jungle settings or realistic cages. The main themes are Exotic Fauna (Fauna Exótica), the Great Extinction of 11,000 Years Ago (Grande Extincao), Life on the Water (Vida na Agua), Life Underground (Espacos Subterraneos de Vida) and Memoirs of a Naturalist (Memórias de um Naturalista).
Open hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 08:30 to 17:00, Thursday - 13:00 to 21:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, children five years old and under are free
Museu Giramundo (Giramundo Museum)
Address: Rua Varginha 235, Floresta, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, BR
Tel: +55 031 3446 0686
Something rather different and quite unexpected is the Museu Giramundo on the Rua Varginha, which first opened its doors to the paying public in 2001. The bulk of the exhibits comprise in excess of 400 well-preserved marionettes and puppets, all of which have featured in performances in the city's very own Teatro Giramundo (Giramundo Puppet Theatre).
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - 09:30 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children under 12 years old, students and seniors