Places to Go
No fewer than eight museums have opened their doors in Belo Horizonte in recent years. The highest concentration is found in the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit, one of the largest integrated culture complexes in Brazil. The buildings that once housed the state government’s administrative offices are now being used as spaces for art, culture, and entertainment. A number of areas are already open to the public: Centro de Arte Popular – CEMIG (CEMIG’s Popular Art Center, Espaço Conhecimento (UFMG Knowledge Center), Memorial Minas Gerais – Vale (Vale’s Minas Gerais Memorial), MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal (MM Gerdau - seum of Mining and Metal), Arquivo Público Mineiro (Minas Gerais Public Archives), Biblioteca Pública Estadual Luiz de Bessa (Luiz de Bessa State Public Library), Museu Mineiro, (Minas Museum), and the Palácio de Liberdade (Liberty Palace). Then there is the Casa Fiat de Cultura (Fiat House Culture Museum), which organizes and sponsors major international exhibitions, featuring works such as Rodin, Italian art, Caravaggio, and Giorgio De Chirico. The city has also established itself as the host of a wide range of festivals in different cultural segments.
Another active cultural pole is the Praça da Estação (Railway Station Square), site of the Museu de Artes e Ofícios (Museum of Arts and Crafts), which houses 2,500 pieces and objects that tell the story of pre-industrial work in the country. The Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos - FIQ (International Festival of Comics), for instance, is the largest of its kind in Latin America, and the Festival Internacional de Teatro - FIT (International Festival of Theatre) is the third. Then there’s the Festival Mundial de Circo (International Circus Festival) and the Indie, one of the greatest national festivals of independent cinema, plus the Comida di Buteco Food Festival, a competition that brings out the best of the food served by the city’s bars.
Located just 60 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte is the Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim Inhotim Center of Contemporary Art) in the municipality of Brumadinho. One of the world’s largest open air contemporary art museums, with 100 acres of gardens and dozens of works by internationally renowned artists, Inhotim captivates visitors with its grandeur and originality. It’s no wonder that the museum has become one of the most sought-after Brazilian cultural spaces by foreign tourists.
The capital is located near important touristic destinations such as the Rota Lund (Lund Route), with its precious archeological material and numerous caves, home of Luzia, the oldest fossil in the American continent. Right in front we have the Serra do Cipó National Park, a well-known spot for adventure tourism. Located 70 km from Belo Horizonte is Inhotim Museum of Contemporary Art, the greatest open-air museum in the world. In the same surroundings, we can find the cradle of Brazilian baroque style, produced by master Aleijadinho during the colonial period, the historical cities Mariana, Ouro Preto and Congonhas, approximately 100 km from the state capital.