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What to see in São Paulo

In 1913, Sé Cathedral started to be built as it is today, designed by German Maximilian Emil Hehl, Architecture professor at Polytechnic School. This shrine was first opened on January 25, 1954, the date we celebrate the anniversary of São Paulo, but without two main towers.

The first version of the church had been installed there in 1591, when cacique Tibiriçá chose the area to be the first mud wall shrine in the city.

In 1745, the “old Sé”, as it was known, was made a cathedral. That is why, in that same year, the second matrix of Sé started to be built in the same place. In the middle of century XIII, the São Pedro da Pedra church was built just beside it. In 1911, both shrines were demolished to give enough room for enlargement of Praça da Sé and, finally, to the cathedral as it is today.

This monument also had been important in recent political life in Brazil. During military despotism, D. Agnelo Rossi (1964-1970) became archbishop and started a time of theology of liberation and preferred option for the poor people. Since 1970, archbishop cardinal D. Paulo Evaristo Arns, who had dedicated his whole time and efforts to fight military dictatorship, denouncing crimes, tortures and offered Sé Cathedral for political and ecumenical manifestations for political missing people and amnesty.

One of the five largest Gothic shrines in the world, the cathedral was reopened in 2002, after three years of restoration, and became to celebrate daily mass. Also guided tours are offered every Sunday, at 12h and 01:00pm.

São Paulo’s Zero Milestone is in front of Sé Cathedral. A small hexagonal marble monument, built in 1934, shows a map of the roads leaving São Paulo towards other states. Each side symbolically represents another Brazilian state. Paraná (araucaria), Mato Grosso (‘bandeirantes’ clothing), Santos (ship), Rio de Janeiro (Sugar Loaf mountain and banana plants), Minas Gerais (deep mining materials) and Goiás (panner, surface mining material).

Sé Cathedral
Praça da Sé, s/n – Downtown - São Paulo (Sé subway station)
Phone: (5511) 3107-6832
Time: During the week: 08:00 am to 07:00 pm
Mass: Monday and friday, at 9h am, at 12h pm and at 6h pm
         Tuesday, wednesday and thursday, at 12h pm and at 6h pm
Saturday: Open: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm
Mass: at 12:00 pm
Sunday: Open: 08:00 am to 01:00 pm and 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm
Masses: at 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 05:00 pm
Aquário de São Paulo
Parque do Trote. Foto: Caio Pimenta/ SPTuris.
Parque do Trote
Templo de Salomão