Belo Horizonte, the first modern Brazilian city to spring from an architect's drawing board, was especially designed for its role as the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. Its wide, landscaped avenues and carefully planned residential suburbs have, however, suffered the impact of the country's high rate of urbanization. Belo Horizonte is the distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural and mining region and the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex. Its chief manufactures are steel, steel products, automobiles, and textiles. Gold, manganese, and gem stones of the surrounding region are processed in the city. Belo Horizonte is also a leading cultural center, with three universities, a historical museum, numerous libraries, and sports stadiums. Because of its altitude (850m) the climate is refreshing and cool.
It has a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants, and covers an area of 333 sq. km.
(Adapted from text of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington,DC)