Standing tall on the University of Pittsburgh campus, the Cathedral of Learning is a Late Gothic Revival structure that has become an icon of Pittsburgh listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Corners of the cathedral are decorated with elegant Gothic details. In fact, it is the second largest building with Gothic architecture in the world.
With 42 stories made of Indiana limestone and more than 2,000 rooms, the tower serves as the main university building of both classrooms and administrative offices. 30 rooms in particular remain a draw for visitors; they’re called the Nationality Rooms. Each represents a piece of Pittsburgh’s history, celebrating culture and influence dating back to 1787 when the university was founded.
The Nationality Rooms are themed with international heritage ranging in diversity from Early American and French to Chinese and Greek. They are fascinating to explore, almost like living museums, and often designed by architects abroad to reflect the art and traditions of each culture they represent. Collectively they tell the story of the many cultures that influenced the modern city Pittsburgh is today.
The Cathedral of Learning is located at Fifth Ave. and Bigelow Blvd. on the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of the city. The entrance to the Nationality Rooms is on Fifth Ave. They’re open Monday to Friday from 9 am - 2:30 pm (last tour) on Saturdays from 9 am - 2:30 pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 8-18.