AAA Editor Notes
Cathedral of Learning is on a 14-acre quadrangle at Bigelow Blvd., 5th Ave., Bellefield Ave. and Forbes Ave. The University of Pittsburgh's 42-story truncated Gothic stone tower was once known as the world's tallest schoolhouse.
Encircling the dramatic, Gothic-inspired Commons Room are 30 nationality classrooms, which reflect architectural and decorative styles ranging from classical, Byzantine and Romanesque to Renaissance, Tudor, Empire and folk. Based on cultural periods prior to 1787, each room was designed by artists and architects from nations that represent Pittsburgh's ethnic heritages and includes authentic period furnishings.
Visitors may lift the toggle switch as they enter each third floor room to activate a taped narration that describes the various room features. Third floor rooms explore such cultures as Austria, India, Africa, Israel and Japan. A sampling of heritages reflected in the first-floor classrooms, with audio descriptions and in-room written descriptions, includes Italy, Scotland, Greece, France, England and Germany. Between mid-November and mid-January, the rooms are decorated in the traditional holiday manner of each nation represented.
Guided tours are available.