Brazil travel guide



Belo Horizonte Travel Guide

Praça da Liberdade

A beautiful palm tree-lined square, sidelined by interesting buildings from the 19th century, including the seat of the State Government, and a curvaceous edifice from the 60s.

The landscape and architectural complex of Praça da Liberdade es a synthesis of the styles that marked Belo Horizonte's history. Work on the Square began when the new capital was founded (1895-1897). Built to house the headquarters of the estate government, the Gobernment Palace and State Secretarial construccions followed the architectural tendencies of that time - an eclectic style with neoclassical elements. As years went by, construccions with different architectural styles were added to the complex. During the 1940's, it was the Art Deco style, with a pó de pedra stone facing on the Cristo Rei Palace. During the 50's and 60's, modern buildings were incorporated into the complex, such as the Niemeyer Building, and the Public Library. In the 80's, the building known as the "Queen of Junk" was inaugurated; this structure was built in a post-modern style, and today it houses the Mining Memorial. The Square also offers a bandstand and a lighted fountain. The design and the gardens, inspired by the Palace of Versalles, are an open invitation to walking and strolling around all of which make Libertade Square an exceptional location for leisure activities and spending time together.

The spacious Praça da Liberdade is graced by a statue, on horseback, of King Pedro IV (d. 1834), who was also Emperor Pedro I of Brazil from 1822 to 1831. Off the north side of the square opens the Avenida dos Aliados, a broad avenue laid out in 1923-29 after the demolition of an old residential quarter and now lined by banks and imposing office blocks, leading up to the City Hall. With its high central tower this early 20th C. granite building is reminiscent of its Dutch and Belgian counterparts.

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