Praca da Se, Sao Paulo

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#749 of 1,167 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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  • Se is Sao Paulo's downtown ground zero. The Cathedral is the main landmark, yet one can explore other surrounding buildings nearby that reflect the passing of times, development cycles. For the unadve...  more »
  • One of the most important historical points of São Paulo lies in a situation of sorrow sad to see so many people surviving in the square in a situation of great social vulnerability. There is a lack of public policies of the executive branch that can ressocialize those people and a more affectionate look with such an important point in Brazilian history.
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