A personal selection of photographs with their stories.
JANUARY 2005: Center
Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, is a relatively young city. The city had grown significantly; more than a century ago, the metropolis was planned with a maximum perimeter that now limits the city center. The actual center is characterized by a regular checkerboard pattern, with crossing diagonal lines. The absolute center, the ‘marco zéro’, is marked with a obelisk. The belo-horizontinos have given it a nickname: ‘pirulito’. The marco zéro is the cross section of two avenidas: Afonso Pena and Amazonas. The Seven September Square refers to the date on which the Brazilian independence was proclaimed, in 1822. The photograph was taken from the top of one of the skyscrapers that surround the square.
© Adriano Antoine Robbesom 2005, 2014
Obelisk in the center of Praça Sete de Setembro, BELO HORIZONTE (MG)
Today (June 14, 2012) is 7.5 years ago, when I arrived in Brazil. Since then, I stayed in Belo Horizonte, and made a number of travels to become more acquainted with the beauties of the immense country.
December 14, 2004. I arrived at Pampulha Airport in Belo Horizonte. The end of a long travel, from Amsterdam. One day before, I departed from my hometown Breda (near the Belgian border) to Amsterdam Airport. There was snow that morning, and there were a number of traffic jams on the road to Amsterdam. Therefore, I arrived too late to check in for my scheduled flight to Atlanta. My flight got rescheduled, and I took the next flight to New York. I had to run for the check-in, the passport control, and the boarding. There was a very long queue in front of the passport control in New York. I only had one hour to get my next flight, to Atlanta. I talked with one of the customs, and he guided me along the queue and I was about to be the next to attended by the police officer. I heard some grumbling and whispered curses behind me, but I did not care. Again, I had to run for the boarding protocol. In Atlanta, I had to run again, for my connective flight to São Paulo. In São Paulo, I had to book my domestic flight to Belo Horizonte, and I had to run to the bus stop, where a bus was about to depart from Guarulhos Airport to the smaller Congonhas Airport. This bus trip took almost two hours. One more time, I had to hurry, to get my flight. I sighed with great relief, when I landed in Belo Horizonte. The end of a travel that took one full day…
The Obelisk at Praça Sete was inaugurated at the first centenary of the Brazilian independence, on September 7, 1922. The obelisk, nicknamed ‘pirulito’, is considered as a zero point in Belo Horizonte. Two main avenues – Avenida Afonso Pena (north-south) and Avenida Amazonas (east-west) cross here.
The original picture was taken in January 2005