Frevo

Frevo is a wide range of musical styles originating from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, all of which are traditionally associated with Brazilian Carnival. The word frevo is said to come from frever, a misspeaking of the Portuguese word ferver (to boil). It is said that the sound of the frevowill make listeners and dancers feel as if they are boiling on the ground. The word frevo is used for both the frevo music and the frevo dance.

Pampulha Architectural Complex

Oscar Niemeyer is one of the architects credited with changing the face of Brazilian architecture. His signature creation is the complex in Pampulha. The complex includes the buildings listed below.

Igreja São Francisco de Assis – Igrejinha da Pampulha (São Francisco de Assis Church)

This church is a must see for its bold and original design. Its beauty is enhanced by the gardens designed by Burle Max and the paintings on the external and internal panels by Portinari.  You will be required to pay a small entrance fee here.

Museu de Arte da Pampulha (Pampulha Museum of Art)

This building was originally a casino. However, when Brazil prohibited gambling in 1946, the authorities converted it into the Museum of Arts in 1957.

Casa do Baile (The Ball House)

In the 1940’s this rounded building along the edge of the lagoon was the favourite haunt of the rich and the famous of Belo Horizonte. It used to be the venue for lavish dance parties. Today, the Centre of Reference in Urbanism, it hosts architecture functions. Many exhibitions and events are held here as well.

Mineirão – Estádio Governador Magalhaes Pinto (Mineirão – Soccer Stadium)

This is one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world, attracting thousands of tourists each year. A must see for all soccer fanatics, the stadium was constructed in 1965 and has seen many historic soccer matches and legendary concerts. Soccer fans should try to catch a match played by the Atlético Mineiro or the Cruzeiro team! There is an entrance fee for the stadium. Also try our Belo Horizonte’s Football Experience activity.

Mineirinho – Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drummond (Mineirinho Stadium)

The Mineirinho stadium was built in 1980 and can hold up to 25,000 people. Many games are played in this stadium which holds the world record for the number of people at a volleyball and indoor soccer game! Every Thursday and Sunday there is a handcraft fair held at this stadium.

Parque Ecológico da Pampulha 

The second largest green area in Belo Horizonte, Parque Ecológico da Pampulha, is ideal not only for strolling and stretching out under the trees, but also for practicing sports and playing a game. (Look for more information under the section on Parks and Squares).

Zoológico – Fundação Zoobotânica de Belo Horizonte (Zoo-Botanical Foundation of Belo Horizonte)

This zoo is known to be one of the most extensive zoos in Latin America. It is also home to the first butterfly sanctuary in South America. There is a centre in the zoo which is engaged in the conservation and preservation of species that are under the threat of extinction.

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer is a statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that was built as a symbol of Brazilian Christianity. In 1850, the idea of building a religious monument was first suggested by a Catholic Priest. It wasn’t until 1920 when a group petitioned for support to build a landmark statue that it became a reality. The design was chosen from several ideas and construction began in the 1920s, taking nine years to finish. Today, Christ the Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Interesting Christ the Redeemer Facts:

  • Christ the Redeemer is the largest art deco statue in the world. It is 98 feet tall (not including the 26 foot pedestal), and the arms stretch to 92 feet wide.
  • The statue weighs approximately 635 tonnes.
  • Christ the Redeemer is located in the Tijuca Forest National Forest, at the top of the Corcovado Mountain.
  • The statue is considered an icon of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
  • Christ the Redeemer is the 5th largest statue of Jesus.
  • The first suggestion to build a large religious monument was made in the 1850s by a Catholic priest names Pedro Maria Boss. The request for financing wasn’t approved because Princess Isabel was not a fan of the idea. The request was officially denied in 1889 when Brazil mandated the separation of church and state. A petition started by a group in the early 1920s, called the Catholic Circle of Rio, was successful. Construction began in 1922 and took nine years to complete.
  • The money to build Christ the Redeemer came from Brazil’s Catholic community.
  • There were several designs to choose from. One was a depiction of the Christian cross. Another was a statue of Jesus holding a globe, while standing over a pedestal that was to symbolize the world.
  • The chosen statue is meant to show that Christ loves all and will embrace all that come to him.
  • The stones that were used to build Christ the Redeemer came from Sweden.
  • The statue was completed in 1931. It officially opened on October 12, 1931.
  • The cost in 1931 was approximately $250,000 US. Today that would roughly be the equivalent of $3.2 million US.
  • The statue had to be constructed in pieces and carried to the mountain top to be erected.
  • The materials used to build Christ the Redeemer were reinforced concrete and soapstone.
  • The right arm points to south Rio de Janeiro and the left arm points to north Rio de Janeiro.
  • In 2008 a violent electrical storm resulted in a lightning strike to the statue. The head, eyebrows and fingers were damaged. The soapstone exterior of the statue prevented severe damage as it acted as an insulator. The Rio de Janeiro state government began a restoration effort.
  • They replaced some layers of soapstone and repaired the lightning rods on the statue.
  • All the stone used in restoration efforts came from the same quarry as the original stone.
  • Christ the Redeemer was vandalized in 2010 by a housepainter. He had sprayed the head and right arm with graffiti. The culprit was later identified.
  • In 2003 there were escalators, elevators and walkways installed. These made it possible to access the platform that surrounds Christ the Redeemer.
  • This statue became one of the New Seven Wonders of the World on July 7th, 2007.

News in Slow Portuguese

In this tool-course we emphasize all aspects of language from listening comprehension point of view, with News in Slow Portuguese you will notice a rapid vocabulary expansion, you will be exposure to Brazilian Portuguese grammar and common idiomatic expressions, with our Hosts you will practice your pronunciation widely. In our program, because this is more than a course, we discuss the Brazilian and International Weekly News, Brazilian Portuguese grammar and much more at a slow pace so that you can understand nearly every single word and sentence.

You can find us at itunes and download our programs for free.