The city’s main reference point, this revamped square is the best place to begin exploring the city. What used to be a hangout for bored old men, prostitutes, and drug addicts now boasts a more salubrious vibe with street vendors selling agua de panela con limón (a ubiquitous sugarcane and lime-juice drink that, according to Antioquian matriarchs, fights off the flu), arepas, ice cream, and candy. Dominating the plaza, the corpulent Catedral Metropolitana (Carrera 48 no. 56–81; tel. 4/513-2269), is Medellín’s largest church. Designed by French architect Emile Carré, the Romanesque-style edifice with Byzantine flourishes was fashioned from over 1.2 million adobe bricks (one of the world’s largest structures created using such materials) which, according to legend, were solidified with bulls’ blood. The inside of the massive cathedral is rather somber, but it’s worth checking out the stained-glass windows and Italian marble canopy above the high altar.