Belo Horizonte, which means “Beautiful Horizon,” is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It was one of the host cities of the 1950 World Cup and will reprise that role in 2014. Belo Horizonte’s metropolitan area is home to more than 5.15 million inhabitants, which makes it the third most populous urban agglomeration in Brazil after the Greater São Paulo City and the Greater Rio de Janeiro. Belo Horizonte was planned and constructed in the 1890s, in order to replace Ouro Preto as the capital of Minas Gerais. The city features a mixture of contemporary and classical buildings. A view of Praca Da Estacao venue of official FIFA Fan Fest on December 3, 2012 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 03: A general view of the Minas Gerais Government buildings Palacio da Liberdade on December 3, 2012 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) When designing Belo Horizonte, city planners found inspiration in Washington, D.C. Over the decades, Belo Horizonte’s programs in urban revitalization and food security have received international praise. (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) Demonstrators march toward the Mineirao stadium where a Confederations Cup semifinal soccer match will be played between Brazil and Uruguay in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The wave of protests that hit Brazil on June 17 began as opposition to transportation fare hikes, then expanded to a list of causes including anger at high taxes, poor services and high World Cup spending, before coalescing around the issue of rampant government corruption. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) A vendor sells Guy Fawkes masks and Brazilian flags on the sidelines of a protest march moving toward the Mineirao stadium before a Confederations Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Uruguay in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The wave of protests that hit Brazil on June 17 began as opposition to transportation fare hikes, then expanded to a list of causes including anger at high taxes, poor services and high World Cup spending, before coalescing around the issue of rampant government corruption. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) Brazlians may be conflicted about the World Cup and its cost. But there's no denying that most Brazilians are excited about the action to come on the pitch. Fans walk outside of the Mineirão stadium prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup match between Japan and Mexico in June 2013. Belo Horizonte sits on the horizon. Built in 1965, the Mineirão stadium will host four group matches and two knockout stage matches (a round of 16 plus a semi-final). It is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Built in 1965, the Mineirão is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. For decades, the stadium operated with a capacity of 130,000 spectators. After Brazil was granted the 2014 World Cup, large-scale redevelopment was necessary to ensure the stadium complied with FIFA regulations. Along with other upgrades, the stadium’s bottom tier was reconstructed and the roof extended. This summer, the Mineirão will host six World Cup matches, including one round of 16 match and one semi-final. The Mineirão stadium was the site of one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. On June 29, 1950, the American team shocked the world by defeating England, one of the tournament favorites, by a score of 1-0.
In summer 2013, the revamped stadium enjoyed a test run during the FIFA Confederations Cup. Tahiti takes on Nigeria during a Group B match on June 17, 2013.
A pond decorates the grounds of the Toca da Raposa 2 training center where Chile's national soccer team will be based during the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes) Soccer isn't the only professional sport seen in the city. The Ultimate Fighting Championship, whose stable of fighters includes several Brazilians, brings its unique brand of sports entertainment to Brazil on a regular basis. The Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte was the venue for UFC 147 on June 23, 2012. (Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)
Brazilian fighters Cezar 'Mutante' Ferreira (left) and Sergio 'Serginho' Moraes battle it out at during their UFC 147 middleweight bout on June 23, 2012.
Professional beach volleyball is also played in the city. Maria Elisa Antonelli hits a return during the Women's Beach Volleyball Circuits Banco do Brasil at Centro Administrativo on October 12, 2012.