New Center, São Paulo Centro Novo
Centro Novo (New Center)In 1872 São Paulo had only 31,000 inhabitants - fewer than Cuiabá in Mato Grosso - and was practically confined within the boundaries of the original settlement. From 1880 onwards, however, the coffee plantations expanded considerably and the railway network was extended, while new immigrants flocked into the town. As a result São Paulo enjoyed an upsurge of prosperity and expanded at a vertiginous rate. The town now outgrew the limits set by the rivers, and new districts - the Centro Novo - developed round the historic core.
Municipal TheatreThe Viaduto do Chá ("Tea Viaduct"; 1889), which carries Rua São Bento over the Anhangabaú depression, links the old town with Praça Ramos de Azevedo, on which is the Municipal Theatre (Teatro Municipal), built between 1903 and 1911 in an eclectic mixture of Art Nouveau and Italian Renaissance. The architect, Ramos de Azevedo, modeled his building on the Paris Opéra. After comprehensive restoration work, completed in 1991, the Theatre now appears in all its original splendor.
Itália BuildingOn Avenida Ipiranga, at the corner of Avenida São Luís, is the 47-storey Itália Building. From its roof, at a height of 164m/538ft, there are magnificent views of the whole city.
Nossa Senhora da Luz
On Avenida Tiradentes, which skirts the Parque da Luz, are the convent and church of Nossa Senhora da Luz, typical examples of the traditional architecture of São Paulo: in spite of their late foundation (18th century) they are built entirely of clay.
Museum of Sacred Art
The Nossa Senhora da Luz convent now houses the Museum of Sacred Art, which has a large and valuable collection of some 11,000 items, including statues, pictures, retablos and furniture of the colonial period (16th-19th centuries).
State Picture Gallery
Mário de Andrade Library
Mário de Andrade LibraryOn Praça Dom José Gaspar, immediately south of Praça Ramos de Azevedo, is the Biblioteca (Library) Mário de Andrade, the largest in São Paulo.
Praça da República
Praça da RepúblicaPraça da República, formerly the Campos dos Curros, in the early 19th century was a halting-place for trains of pack animals and herds of cattle. The tree-shaded square, with a pond in the center, is occupied on Sundays by a craft market, at which stamps, coins and semi-precious stones are also offered for sale. On Saturdays there is a market for the sale of home-made delicacies both sweet and savory. The square is also used for various entertainments, with music from the surrounding region.
Nossa Senhora da Consolação
N.S. daConsolaçãoFrom the library Rua da Consolação leads to the church of Nossa Senhora da Consolação (1907).
Largo do Arouche
Largo do AroucheFrom Avenida Ipiranga, at Praça da República, a number of streets (pedestrians only) go off in the direction of Praça Ramos de Azevedo. On the other side Rua Vieira de Carvalho and Rua do Arouche lead to Largo do Arouche, decorated with sculpture and gay with flower-stalls open round the clock. The square can also be reached by way of Avenida São João, one block south of Praça da República on Avenida Ipiranga.
Palácio dos Campos Eliseos
Palácio dos Campos EliseosAbove Largo do Arouche a number of side streets off Avenida São João lead to the Campos Eliseos quarter, which in the early 20th century was one of the most elegant districts in the city. In this area is the Palácio dos Campos Eliseos, formerly the seat of the state government.
Santa CecíliaTo the west of Largo do Arouche is Largo de Santa Cecília, with the church of Santa Cecília (1901).
Viaduto Santa Efigênia
Viaduto Santa EfigàniaOne landmark in the development of the city was the construction of the Santa Efigània Viaduct. The viaduct over the Anhangabaú valley provided a link between Largo São Bento and Largo Santa Efigània, on the north of the old town.
Parque Dom Pedro II
Parque Dom Pedro IIOne landmark in the development of the city was the opening of the Dom Pedro II Park. In the park, which extends to the east of Praça da Sé and Largo São Bento, there formerly stood the Patliament Building. The park now lies at the center of a network of streets reaching northward towards the Rio Tietà and eastward into the Brás and Moóca districts.
Central MarketTo the north of the Dom Pedro II Park, in Rua da Cantareira (reached by way of Avenida Mercúrio and Avenida do Estado), is the Central Market (Mercado Central), with fine stained glass windows, built by Ramos de Azevedo and opened in 1933.
Museum of Art
Estação da Luz
Estação da LuzAvenida Prestes Maia, which runs under the Santa Efigània Viaduct, is one possible route to the Estação da Luz, a railway station based on British models, all the materials for which were imported.
Parque da Luz
Parque da LuzIn front of the station is the Parque da Luz, laid out at the beginning of the 20th century, with children's playgrounds, a bandstand, a small lake and a waterfall. It lies in the Bom Retiro district, a stronghold of the Jewish population of São Paulo which now also houses large numbers of Korean immigrants.
Santa Cruz dos Enforcados
Santa Cruz dos EnforcadosThe building of the chapel of Santa Cruz dos Enforcados on Praça da Liberdade (to the south of Praça da Sé and Praça João Mendes) in 1902 is evidence of the rapid growth of the city. The chapel is still used for worship, but since its construction increasing numbers of Asian immigrants - mainly Japanese, Chinese and Koreans - have moved into the district. Many streets are lit by Eastern-style lamps, and innumerable restaurants offer an exotic cuisine with characteristic Far Eastern specialties.
Museum of Japanese Immigration
Museum of Japanese ImmigrationFeira OrientalThe Museum of Japanese Immigration (Museu da Imigração Japonese) has some 1000 exhibits (works of art, everyday objects, books, photographs, reproductions of the boats which brought the Japanese immigrants to Brazil) showing how the immigrants adjusted to their new conditions of life and became integrated into this new world. They still maintain their old traditions, however, as is shown, for example, by the Feira Oriental, an Eastern street market held on Sundays in Praça da Liberdade, when typical Japanese delicacies, plants and craft products are on sale.
Map of Sao Paulo (City) Attractions