Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil, and it holds the largest number of buildings of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. With over 2.5 million inhabitants in an area of approximately 330 km², the city is a place of national influence when it comes to economy, culture and intellectual production.
An important aspect of Belo Horizonte’s influence is seen in its architecture. Inaugurated in 1897, Belo Horizonte is one of the oldest planned cities in Brazil, housing a collection of buildings in the neoclassical, neoromantic and neogothic styles. Moreover, the city is well known as one of the cradles of modern Brazilian architecture. The Pampulha modern ensemble, which emerged in the beginning of the 1940s, was delivered collectively by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed the four major buildings, the engineer and poet Joaquim Cardozo, the visual artist Cândido Portinari and the by landscape designer and visual artist Roberto Burle Marx. The place was inscribed in 2016 in the world heritage list (UNESCO). Belo Horizonte offers opportunities for culture and leisure in several spaces, such as parks, museums, cultural centers and pubs. Some of the places worth visiting include the baroque town Ouro Preto (founded in 1711 and first capital of Minas Gerais State) and the world’s largest open air museum of contemporary art (and botanic garden), Inhotim (inaugurated in 2006), are quite close to Belo Horizonte (a distance of less than one hundred kilometers).
The main campus of the UFMG in Belo Horizonte is located in Pampulha, not far from the world famous Niemeyer architecture ensemble and the “Mineirão” sports arena, which was one of the stages in FIFA’s World Cup in 2014. There are several hotels, hostels and B&Bs near the campus, counting the lodging network of the city on other hundreds of possibilities, most of them in the downtown area (or nearby), which is seven kilometers distant from the Pampulha campus. It is nevertheless well served by buses, including the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) service, which takes less than 15 minutes to travel between the downtown area and the campus. In addition to the restaurants and cafeterias inside the campus, there are also many gastronomic possibilities in its surroundings. It is worth saying that the gastronomy of the State of Minas Gerais is very famous and there are many restaurants in Belo Horizonte in which it is very well represented. Furthermore, in 2019 Belo Horizonte was included in the “Creative Cities Network” of UNESCO in the field of gastronomy and Minas Gerais was chosen by the travel platform booking.com one of the ten “2021’s Most Welcoming Places” of the world.
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The UFMG is one of Brazil’s best universities and has been frequently rated among the ten best universities in Latin America (in the last ranking of Latin American universities by Times Higher Education the university earned the 8th place). It has didactic and research activities of high quality in all areas of knowledge, displaying excellence also in arts and humanities in general and particularly in the field of philosophy. The main campus of the UFMG in Belo Horizonte offers excellent conditions for hosting big events, having very good facilities such as large amphitheaters (some for over 400 people), smaller rooms for parallel sessions, bookshop, pharmacy, office supply stores, libraries and also restaurants of several price levels.
UFMG. Air View of Campus Pampulha. Ph: Foca Lisboa