Minas Gerais, one of the four states in Brazil's Southeast, excels in the promotion of its culture, and travelers visiting it before and during 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, in which state capital Belo Horizonte is one of 12 host cities, will find plenty of new attractions to enjoy.
Last May, in a press conference held at the Clóvis Salgado Palace in Belo Horizonte, the state's Culture Secretary Eliane Parreiras officially presented Roteiro Cultural na Copa em Minas, a kaleidoscope of new venue openings and suggested travel routes to be fully operational before the start of world soccer's top event.
Previously scheduled for today, the opening of Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Belo Horizonte has been reset for Aug.27. The new unit of the cultural center which already has locations in Rio, São Paulo and Brasília will be one of Brazil's largest cultural venues. With its headquarters in a restored 1926 building in central BH, the 12,000-square-meter center will be part of the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit. Newly restored and reopened as an interactive museum, Palácio da Liberdade is one of several attractions already open to the public on this cultural route.
Among a myriad appealing short trips from Belo Horizonte tourists can choose from, such as Inhotim, the Cipó Mountain Range or colonial towns such as Ouro Preto, Mariana, Sabará and more, one attraction stands out with a brand-new museum: the Maquiné Cave.
Evening update: Earlier today, Brazil president Dilma Rousseff announced that Minas Gerais will receive R$ 257 million in investments from the federal government, in the second phase of Brazil's Growth Acceleration Plan (PAC) for historic towns. According to Agência Minas, the state's official news agency, the president made the announcement in the historic center of São João Del Rey, accompanied by Minas Gerais vice governor Alberto Pinto Coelho. Of the 44 cities to benefit from the program's second phase, eight are located in Minas Gerais: Belo Horizonte, Congonhas, Diamantina, Mariana, Ouro Preto, Sabará, São João Del Rei and Serro.
PAC funds will be used in the revitalization and restoration of hundreds of historic buildings. According to Agência Minas, the Minas Gerais State government will also invest in the recovery of its heritage, with R$ 5,8 million allotted for that purpose in 2014, most of which is to be used in the restoration of historic churches and chapels.
More on Belo Horizonte Attractions:
- Mineirão: Host Stadium in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
- Memorial Minas Gerais Vale
- CAP-Cemig Folk Art Center