A personal selection from more than 100 thousand photographs, taken at various locations in Brazil. My top 10 of July 2005, part one.
July 2005. The only travel this month was a day at the state park of Serra do Cipó, at about 100 km from Belo Horizonte.
1 Casa do Baile
Casa do Baile, House of the Dance. It is one of the projects designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer when he was creating the architectonic conjunction of Lagoa da Pampulha (Pampulha Lake) during the forties of the past century. The construction contains the meandering lines which are characteristic for Niemeyer’s creations. The Casa is located at Lagoa da Pampulha, which is an irregular-shaped artificial lake. In July, the columns were decorated with red veils, as if the columns were the bailarinas (dancers) of that month.
2 Quatorze Juillet
Talking about dancing and dancers…. Not only in France, but also in Belo Horizonte, the French Revolution is commemorated by the French community, on 14 July. A large square was the location for a small festival with a dozen of stands selling food and drinks. A stage was built for the performance of French amusement. Among which the famous cancan dance. Many Brazilian men looked with much interest at the seductive dancers.
Talking about parties and food…. Also Brazilians love to have some salty bites when having some drinks. They love to eat roasted meat, such as filet mignon, chicken hearts, or picanha. The picture above shows picanha (roasted steak), complete with fried onion rings and a dish of crispy French fries. Where is the mayonnaise? Or the ketchup? OR worse: peanut sauce? Maybe you may request some ketchup for the French fries. But ketchup on meat? According to Brazilians, a real sin!
4 Santa Mala
Talking about sins…. On a sunny Sunday, I was witnessing the landing of a small airplane at Pampulha Airport, near the center of Belo Horizonte. A landing, like many small airplanes, as it appeared to me. However… this airplane was headline news the following day. The plane transported pastors of a Brazilian religious movement. They carried some suitcases. Quite innocent, to have personal luggage in your suitcases…. However, when they were forced to open them, these cases contained a large sum of money. Not from their bank accounts, but collected from their poor parishioners. These poor people pay about ten percent of their low income to the church. This money was used for the construction of huge and luxurious religious buildings, and destined to the pockets of the ‘pastors’…
Talking about churches… The little church at Lagoa da Pampulha, at the other side of Casa do Baile, also has the same meandering shapes that are characteristic for Oscar Niemeyer’s works. However, due to some disputes within the diocese, this church was not immediately consecrated. The big question was if this building was suitable enough to serve as a religious building. It took many years until its consecration. Many couples chose this church for their marriages and had their pictures and movies made. In 2005, the church underwent thorough renovation. The sky blue church served as a touristic highlight. Couples can still get married there? No the Belo Horizonte diocese, who is the actual owner, decided to have no more marriages there. However, there are very few masses.
Numbers. 6-10 will be continued in part two.
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By Adriano Antoine Robbesom © 2005, 2014