About the City

Bogotá, The big metropolis ….. and its magic

Bogotá, The big metropolis ….. and its magic

“August in the capital is an emblematic month: the clarity of the air and a beautiful pink light attract foreign photographers in front of the tutelary hills. It is also the most joyful month, which clouds the air of colors “.
Jaime Jaramillo Escobar (X-504)

Bogota is a city that can interest different types of tourists: the lover of nature, the one of history, who, in its vicinity, seeks medicinal waters, and also the simple observer … and the dreamer. What happens is that there are things that are not said about this city (fortunately, much is now being said about the network of bike paths and a little less about the network of public libraries, some of them splendid architectural constructions). But there are definitely things that are not talked about. Few people know, for example, that foreign photographers are attracted by the beautiful pink light shown by the eastern hills of the city, particularly in the bright month of August. Nor is it customary to talk about the spiritual peace that the visit to the Botanical Garden “José Celestino Mutis” or the Simón Bolívar Central Park can give. In the latter, the visitor can find not only a lake and a splendid view of Monserrate and Guadalupe, but also find very typical birds such as the tiny copetón (sparrow) – of beautiful chirping and striking brown stripes on the black back – or the blackbirds, or plants also very characteristic as elderberry, willows, capers, magnolias, or carbonero trees. The history of Bogotá (Bacatá, in the language of the Muiscas) is a little more known, but it is worth remembering it, underlining the multiethnic and multicultural nature of Colombia. The capital city keeps in its vicinity vestiges of the primitives that occupied Colombia about 12 thousand years ago, as is clear to those who visit the Piedras del Tunjo, in Facatativá, a town located 36 kilometers south-west from Bogotá and whose name is Muisca – indigenous people who  found the Spaniards when they arrived – it means “Strong enclosure at the end of the plain”. As you can see, the name in Spanish has an indian meaning, and the miscegenation – linguistic, in that and many other names – can also be seen in the faces of the people of Bogotá. Monserrate and Guadalupe are linked to both the Muisca past, the Spanish conquest and the Spanish colony. Monserrate and Guadalupe were, for the Muisca, a sacred site of sun worship. Upon his arrival the Spaniards found that “idols covered with gold shone in the heights”, says Elisa Mujica. In the foothills of these two hills, the city of the Spanish conquest, the colony and the first years of republican life originated. Perhaps some of those who walk with sympathy the streets of the colonial district of La Candelaria can expect to see, like the national poet José Asunción Silva, leaning on the balcony of one of these houses “the severe head / of some oídor, or the dark eyes / of a Spanish lady / of pearly complexion and red lips “, coming from Andalucia.

Gold Museum:
This site invites us to discover the history of the prehispanic people of Colombia through the wonderful art of goldsmithing in gold and other metals from ancient cultures such as Muisca, Quimbaya and Tayrona.More than 34,000 pieces of gold and tumbaga (gold and copper alloy) are part of this amazing collection.The collection is inspired by the process by which metal is transformed, from its extraction in the mines, the work of the goldsmiths, the use in jewelery and adornment for clothing, religious symbols and its return to nature in the form of offering.

National Museum of Colombia:
The National Museum of Colombia located in Carrera 7th and Calle 28, in the center of the city, in the old Penitentiary of Cundinamarca, exhibits instruments, works and objects that recreate the history of our country.

Botero Museum:
This collection was donated in 2000 by the universal artist of the “fat things”. In this way, he made accessible to the entire Bogota population and visitors, 85 works of some of the most representative creators of art history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (there are works of Corot, Degas, Toulouse -Lautrec, Picasso, Dalí, among others) and 123 works among drawings, watercolors, oils, pastels and sculptures by Fernando Botero himself.

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