Abilio Barreto Historical Museum (Museu Histórico Abílio Barreto)
The Abilio Barreto Historical Museum brings visitors back in time to the founding days of Belo Horizonte and through hundreds of years of history. In the 1940s, local journalist Abilio Barreto was commissioned by the city to organize Belo Horizonte’s general archives. Using century’s of historical artifacts, paintings, photos, and documents, the journalist curated the historical museum, which eventually found it’s home in the Fazendo do Leitão, a restored colonial farmhouse, typical of the first settlers of Belo Horizonte.
Today, the semi open-air museum is a tranquil escape from the city – a reminder of Belo Horizonte’s rural roots amid the metropolitan city that has developed since that time. The Portuguese colonial farmhouse sits on a stone foundation, with neat shuttered windows and doors with bright-blue frames. Inside, large wooden beams criss-cross the ceilings and historic photos, paintings and knick-knacks are on display, telling the story of the state-capital city. The shaded grounds are home to an antique stagecoach, a cable car, and a 19th century steam train that are set among walking paths in a tropical garden.