History in Belo horizonte

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Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It has a comparatively short history as a settlement, and the modern metropolis was only built up in the past 150 years.

Discovery by Joao Leite da Silva Ortiz

In 1701 the explorer Joao Leite da Silva Ortiz first discovered the small village settlement that would become Belo Horizonte. He considered the the area to have good weather, landscape, and farming soil, so he left a gold hunting expedition to settle in the area.

The success of his farm motivated others to move to the area, which also grew due to the travelers from the Sao Francisco region going through Curral Del Rey on the way to the southerly portions of Brazil.

Under the Republic

In 1889 Brazil became a republic. In 1893, Curral Del Rey was selected as the new capital of the state due to its favorable climatic and topographic conditions. It was renamed Cidade de Minas, translated as Minas City.

It was also decided that Cidade de Minas would become the first planned city of Brazil. Planners Aarao Reis and Francisco Bicalho were inspired by the plan of Washington D.C.

Although Aarao Reis was given the task of designing the city, the city was still unfinished when it was finally inaugurated in 1897. The Brazilian Government set a deadline for the completion of the city and inhabitants were granted funds to build homes. Residents were not permitted to live within the designated urban area, and the city soon enjoyed industrial expansion.

Belo Horizonte and the Twentieth Century

The city was finally named Belo Horizonte in 1906, and as the city grew more rapidly than expected. It became clear that it would be necessary to construct more residential areas, so in the 1940s Oscar Niemeyer was commissioned to design the Pampulha Neighborhood.

The appearance of the city is now marked by wide avenues and a high skyline, and the region has become commercially important, with companies such as Google basing their Latin American headquarters in the area. 

The city is also noted as a cultural hub of the arts. The city boasts many museums and artistic groups of Brazil.

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