Praça da Liberdade is a great place. The square itself is beautiful with its Imperial palm trees which have been there for centuries, the fountains, the bandstand, the old benches. But it's not only that! It is surrounded by beautiful buildings, most of neoclassical architecture. Many of them used to hold the state secretaries and are now museums. The government palace at the SSW end of the sqare is beautiful, with a ravishing garden. If you look to the square from the palace, to your right, at the corner of Brasil avenue, you will see the famous Oscar Niemeyer building which bears his name. It is full of curves, since the inspiration for the design is said to be a pile of vinil discs. To your left, at the corner of Bias Fortes avenue is the controversial Rainha da Sucata building(Queen of Scrap Metal, nickname based on a soap opera which was famous at the time of its construction) , which tries to bring together the lines of the neoclassical buildings and modern aparent metal structure. Not beautiful to my taste, but there are those who like it!!! If you come to Belo Horizonte, try to spare some time to stroll around the square. Get some ice cream, sit down and relax. This is an oasis amidst the busy streets of the city.
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