São Paulo, Brazil’s vibrant financial center, is among the world's most populous cities, with numerous cultural institutions and a rich architectural tradition. Its iconic buildings range from its neo-Gothic cathedral and the 1929 Martinelli skyscraper to modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer’s curvy Edifício Copan. The colonial-style Pátio do Colégio church marks where Jesuit priests founded the city in 1554.
The ornate Theatro Municipal hosts symphonic and ballet productions. The Mercado Municipal features cafes and produce stalls in a 1930s building with stained-glass windows. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, a museum founded in 1905, showcases Brazilian art. South of downtown is Liberdade, a large Japanese cultural district. Bela Vista is home to an Italian community as well as the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, which exhibits international works in a modern glass structure. The Jardins neighborhood has designer boutiques and upmarket cafes. Ibirapuera Park contains green lawns, lakeside trails and art galleries.