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Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is one of the most important cities in Brazil. It is the capital of Minas Gerais state, located in the southeast of the country.

With a population of more than 2 million, Belo Horizonte was once a small village, founded by the prospector from São Paulo João Leite da Silva Ortiz[?], who found a land of very good weather and decided to stay, building a farm named Curral del Rei[?]. The farm's wealth brought new people to the region.

The village grew, and when Brazil turned into a republic it was chosen to be the site for building the new capital of Minas Gerais, which Ouro Preto[?] was at that time. It was then that the name Belo Horizonte was given to the city.

One interesting aspect of the city is that is was planned by the urbanist Aarão Reis. The capital of the state was transferred in 1897. Today (2003) its population exceeds 2.14 million people, making it the fourth-largest city in the country. Located in the nearby suburb of Pampulha is a collection of important buildings, including the Capela de São Francisco de Assis (Igreja da Pampulha), designed by Brazil's famous modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer.

More information on every aspect of the city may be found at its Web Page (http://www.pbh.gov.br).



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