City Hall

Learn about a building that is ingrained in São Paulo’s history while you investigate its dominant Fascist-period façade.

Find São Paulo’s City Hall in the heart of the old downtown, otherwise known as Centro. You may hear it called the Matarazzo Building or the Palácio Anhangabaú, names which reflect its multifaceted history. Appreciate its impressive architecture as you pass or join a downtown walking tour to hear more about its inner workings.

The São Paulo City Hall was built in 1939 during a time of great advancement in the city. See the design by Italian architect, Marcello Piacentini. The building served as the headquarters for the businesses of Ermelino Matarazzo. In 2004, the structure was sold to the city by the bank Banespa, to serve as its main chambers.

Admire the grand uniformity of its architecture from the surrounding streets. The design reflects Fascist values of solidarity and strength, a style that dominated Italian architecture of the time. This was important for the Matarazzo family, whose fortune was created from Brazil’s food and coffee industries in partnership with Mussolini’s 20th-century Fascist government. Observe its minimalist marble façade, marked with straight windows and block-like balconies.

Take a relaxing stroll around the shrubbery-filled gardens for a breath of fresh air. Spot palms and bushes rising from its rooftop garden and take a tour of its inner chambers. Those lucky enough to access its upper levels will get a great view of the Viaduto do Chá, a bridge connecting old downtown to Praça Ramos de Azevedo.

After a look at City Hall, walk around São Paulo’s Centro and admire other fascinating landmarks. Join crowds at the Republic Square or see the Copan Building, which claims to have the greatest amount of residential space of any building in the world. Downtown walking tours will take you past these buildings and others including the municipal theater and the city’s public library. Explore the downtown area at night to see these buildings spectacularly lit up by spotlights.

City Hall is open on weekdays. Book walking tours through travel agencies around the Centro area.