Praca da Se, Sao Paulo

1.0
#756 of 1,171 in Things to do in Sao Paulo
Praça da Sé is a public space in São Paulo, Brazil. Considered as the city's central point, it is the point from where the distance of all roads passing through São Paulo are counted. The square was the location of many historic events in São Paulo's history, most notably during the Diretas Já movement. The name originates from the episcopal see of the city, the São Paulo Cathedral.
Originally known as Largo da Sé, the square developed around the religious building which preceded the cathedral and surrounding edifices. At the beginning of the 20th century, older structures were demolished and the downtown area reconstructed according to the urban planning of the time. Its geography has remained mostly unchanged since.
Landscape projectThe current landscape is the result of a 1970s project by architects led by José Eduardo de Assis Lefèvre. The opening of a nearby São Paulo Metro station required the leveling of an entire city block, requiring an entirely new landscaping infrastructure.
The architects were heavily influenced by contemporary landscaping works underway in the west coast of the US (such as those by Lawrence Halprin), characterized by rigorous geometry, through multiple levels with reflecting pools and prism-like land masses.
RenovationThe square underwent a significant revitalisation during 2006, having been partially re-inaugurated on January 25, 2007 by then-mayor Gilberto Kassab. The renovation came under intense criticism by NGOs working with the homeless who claimed that the new square reduced the space available for existing homeless people
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Praca da Se Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
56 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Sinister place. I've never seen so much street dweller. I saw a huge cluster of people, I thought it was some street artist, but when I got close... I recommend no one to go there. I ordered an Uber from the square and 7 drivers refused the race. Get the hell out of there.
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  • It's pretty deteriorated. Dirty, without any care with the landscaping. The buildings in their surroundings are completely destroyed. The poor quality trading. Homeless people sleep over there during the day. Despite the presence of policemen it is quite difficult to have any sense of security, even to take a picture of the magnificent cathedral. Sad
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