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Original photograph of the founders of Belo Horizonte (1895)

Original photograph of the founders of Belo Horizonte (1895)

Regular price R$ 5.000,00 BRL
Regular price Sale price R$ 5.000,00 BRL
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In 1895, a group of engineers designed Belo Horizonte, the new capital of Minas Gerais

  • Large photograph of the Belo Horizonte Construction Commission, with some notes from the author, the Photographic Office. On the back, an image of the Imperial Chapel and the Carmos Church, in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Notes in Portuguese and French.
  • 30.3 cm x 24 cm.
  • Belo Horizonte, 1895.
  • In good general condition, but with some damp stains on the back and a defect on the upper left edge.
  • Unique piece.


Villon, Radice, Americo de Macedo, Samuel Perreira, Vallebella)

4th division - Construction Commission of the New Capital of Minas

Bello Horizonte 1895


Chapelle Impériale et Eglise des Carmes (enmfrançais)
Rio de Janeiro

Born in the Northeast of France, nothing indicated that one day I would live in Brazil, much less in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, where my daughter's mother was born. These are the happy accidents of life. So, when, a few months ago, I found and acquired this photo, I was very happy, almost emotional.

This 1895 image depicts twenty-one sophisticated men - all sporting mustaches except one individual! - belonging to the 4th division of the Belo Horizonte Technical Commission. This team was responsible for researching and preparing the land for the new capital of Minas Gerais, destined to replace Ouro Preto.

The Commission's engineer leader was Aarão Reis, a graduate of the Rio de Janeiro Polytechnic School, considered the "main technological training center in the country during the Empire". In addition to engineers, the Commission included several professionals from different areas: architects, treasurers, scribes, builders, bricklayers, carpenters and others.

But how was the new capital of Minas Gerais chosen? Several locations were considered: Juiz de Fora, Barbacena, Paraúna, Várzea do Marçal and Belo Horizonte. The latter offered ideal conditions: centrality within the state, just 100 km from Ouro Preto, abundance of water resources, etc.

Construction work began in 1894 and, on December 12, 1897, the new capital was officially inaugurated, already housing 10 thousand inhabitants. Belo Horizonte was one of the first Brazilian cities to be planned.

I strongly hope that the new guardian of this great historical photograph will be a miner with heart and soul, or a State institution.

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