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.