In the city of Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon) in Minas Gerais state, one of the most famous spots is the Pampulha Lagoon. An amazing place where tourists can visit the architectural complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer, an artistic milestone in modern architecture. The Pampulha Lagoon is scenery of major sporting events like the International Tour of Pampulha, famous brazilian run.
Our first place to visit is the Pampulha Art Museum (Museu de Arte da Pampulha – MAP). Designed to be a casino in the early 1940s, the building that now houses the museum was the first Oscar Niemeyer project. The gardens that surround the building, created by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, have as main characteristic composition of sinuous forms, with large blocks in color spots, built with species of brazilian flora.
Nearby you will find the Pampulha Church (Igreja da Pampulha), also known as the chapel of St. Francis of Assisi. The architecture framed by the lagoon waters, brings together the geniuses of Niemeyer, Burle Marx and the brazilian painter Candido Portinari. The combination led to the building in blue tones, with lines and curves completely covered with tiles and gorgeous paintings. Art, beauty and pleasure in harmony!
Even for those who do not like football is worth visiting the Mineirão stadium – officially ‘Magalhães Pinto Stadium’. It’s the third largest football stadium in Brazil, and for many is the most beautiful (including writer’s opinion). It served as a venue in the 2014 Soccer World Cup and in the 2016 Olympic Games football tournaments. Football/soccer fascinates the people of Belo Horizonte, accentuated by the strong rivalry with the dispute between Atlético Mineiro Footbal Club and Cruzeiro Sports Club. Go on a football match at the Mineirão, unmissable for sport lovers. Most matches takes place on weekends and on wednesdays.
Now you must be hungry, do not worry the Pampulha complex has bars and restaurants along its Pond edge. Unfortunately the waters of the Pampulha Lagoon are in process of cleaned and you can not swim or dive. You can go to Cocana Beer, Juscelino Deck Beer or the restaurant Guanabara Grill with a view of the lake. Other great dining options are on Fleming avenue, there you will find a bit of everything, steak, pasta, hamburger, seafood and local food. Enjoy it!
Photos Renato Cobucci/Imprensa MG, Marcus Desimoni/Portal da Copa and Juliano Grisolia