The Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) is the oldest educational institution in Brazil, dating back to 1912. Mainly made up of a single 17,000-square-meter neo-classical building, the school occupies an entire block of Curitiba’s town center on one end of Praça Santos Andrade. What started out as a private institution in the early 1900s became a federal, tuition-free university in 1950. The university has since incorporated several buildings throughout Curitiba to house its students and classes, while also having units in the cities of Palotina and Matinhos.
The university is one of Curitiba's most photographed buildings come nightfall thanks to its lighting and grand appearance. Visitors are warned, however, that Santos Andrade Square is not the safest area to explore alone on foot at night.
UFPR’s main campus is located at Rua XV de Novembro, 1299, at the Santos Andrade Square, in the center of town. Admission to the building is free. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The campus is reachable via many bus routes that can be taken to the station at Praça Santos Andrade. The university is within walking distance of other tourist attractions, such as Tiradentes Square, the Palace of Liberty Cultural Center and Passeio Publico.