Belo Horizonte is the capital of Minas Gerais State; the state with the largest number of colonial cities in Brazil. Belo Horizonte is quite a young city. It is the first planned city ever built in Brazil. It is Brazil's third largest city, but it keeps the relaxed way that is famous throughout the country. Belo Horizonte is also the gateway to the many historical cities in the state of Minas Gerais.
The city's main tourist attraction is Pampulha, a planned neighborhood surrounding a man-made lake and graced by an architectural complex designed by world famous Oscar Niemeyer. It is one of the principal success stories of contemporary Brazilian architecture.
The complex is basically composed of the Saint Francis of Assisi Church, the Casa do Baile (an elegant ballroom), the Yacht Club and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The city enjoys a lively cultural calendar, especially at the Palácio das Artes (a multi-theater performing arts center). Night life is also lively and the Savassi district offers many entertainment opportunities at its nightclubs, bars and restaurants.