Given the stories that we’ve often heard about Colombia, it’s not uncommon for people to have preconceived notions about the country and its people. I mean haven’t we all allowed our prejudices to color our perceptions and assume terrible things about Colombia? If you’ve decided to experience the country first-hand, rather than rely on media reports, to know more about Colombia and its delightful inhabitants, this article is for you!
Bogota is Colombia’s biggest city and its capital. This multicultural city is home to more than eight million people who love their nightlife as much as their rich cultural heritage and history. It is full of art, fashion, culture, and history.
Places You Must Visit in Bogota:
Monserrate is home to the cathedral of El Senor Caido or the Fallen Lord. Hundreds of pilgrims, some barefoot or even blindfolded, visit the cathedral every Sunday to pray for their loved ones or offer gratitude for an answered prayer. Monserrate was a significant place even before the Spanish invaded Columbia. The Muisca people are a pre-Columbian tribe that considered this place sacred because, during the June Solstice, the sun rose directly behind the hill. Besides pilgrims, the place is also loved by hikers and tourists who visit the cafeteria, restaurants, and the tourist market.
Gold Museum, Bogota:
Before the Spanish, French, and the British conquered the country, Columbia was hugely influenced by various indigenous tribes: Muiscas, Taironas, and the Mesoamericans. As Dave Dunlop points out, to these indigenous tribes, gold wasn’t a currency; rather, it was a mystical element that could be used to shape interesting artifacts and ornamental clothing. Some of these are now displayed at the Gold Museum, Bogota. This museum houses more than 34,000 gold pieces and a few thousand articles made using bones, stone, ceramic and textiles. The Gold Museum, Bogota has some of the most extensive collection of pre-Hispanic metalwork. The most prominent among them is the Quimbaya helmet, made completely out of gold somewhere from 500 to 700 A.D.
Museo Santa Clara:
Santa Clara is an extensively decorated church built in the 17th century. It is one of the oldest and the most ornately decorated churches in Columbia. The church is now acquired by the Columbian government which operates a museum and displays some of the country’s best baroque artwork.
Bogota is surrounded by flea markets selling unique handicrafts and an eclectic mix of unusual objects. They’re the perfect place to shop for cheap shoes, handmade jewelry, and antiques. And if you’d like to sample local fare, try the local snacks and fruit juices made from exotic fruits you’ll find nowhere else in the world.
The Botanical Garden of Bogota:
Jardin Botanica de Bogota is one of the most diverse gardens in Columbia that features flowers from every corner of the country; almost 13,000 plant species are here, some endemic only to Columbia and some have adapted well in the region’s ecosystem.
Author Bio : The Author has written extensively about pre-Columbian history and culture and loves discussing some of their artifacts, like those found in the Gold Museum, Bogota.