By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Running along one of São Paulo’s busiest avenues, is the Luz Neighborhood, located in what once was part of the city’s center. Visitors will find a bustling shopping area with stores selling cheap, imported Chinese-made trinkets, as well as historic buildings and a very nice wooded park.
With its imposing architecture, the Pinacoteca do Estado is one of the top tourist attractions in the neighborhood and in the city.
“The museum itself is a work of art,” said Flavia Ribeiro, on a visit to the city from Rio de Janeiro. “I love the exposed brick on the inside of the museum and the huge skylight. Natural light makes all the difference,” adds the visitor.
In addition to its main exposed brick building, the Pinacoteca also has another unit, which once was the São Paulo state’s famous Department for Political and Social Order. The building, where interrogations and reported tortures of ‘enemies of the state’ were conducted during the country’s military dictatorship, now houses, ironically, a memorial of the resistance movement and the political repression of that time.
Surrounding the main building, visitors have a chance to walk through the Parque da Luz, shaded with trees that date back to the mid 1900s and see sculptures that are part of the museum’s permanent collection.
A few meters away from the Pinacoteca, visitors will be able to see the Estação da Luz, home of the Sala São Paulo, one of the only concert halls located in an active railroad station in the world. The hall itself was designed so that every seat would be able to experience the same acoustics during music recitals and the movable ceilings are said to provide concertgoers with one of the best sounds in the world.
The Sala São Paulo is located next to the Museu da Lingua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Museum), which in 2015 was partially destroyed by a fire. The museum, until the fire one of the must-see museums in the city is undergoing restoration and expected to re-open in 2019.