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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 cheerful 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 which are splendid architectural constructions).
But there are definitely things that are not talked about. Few know, for example, that foreign photographers are attracted by the beautiful pink light that shows the eastern hills of the city, particularly in the bright month of August. It is not usual to talk about the spiritual peace that the visit to the Botanical Garden “José Celestino Mutis” or to 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 -of gorgeous chirping and striking brown stripes on the black back- or the blackbirds, or plants also very characteristic as elderberry, willows, capers, magnolias, coal.
The history of Bogotá (Bacatá, in the language of the Muiscas) is a bit more well known, but it is worth remembering it, underlining the multiethnic and multicultural nation that Colombia has. The capital city keeps in its neighborhood 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 from Bogotá and whose name is Muisca – an indigenous people who they found the Spaniards when they arrived – it means “Strong fencing 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 originated the city of the Spanish conquest, the colony and the first years of republican life. Perhaps some of those who walk with sympathy the streets of the colonial neighborhood 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 Andalusia.
Notes of interest
National Museum of Colombia
The National Museum of Colombia located in Carrera 7 with Calle 28, in the center of the city, in the old building of Penitentiary of Cundinamarca, exhibits instruments, works and objects that recreate the history of our country.
This collection was donated in 2000 by the universal artist of the “chubby”. In this way, it 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, oil paintings, pastels and sculptures by Fernando Botero himself.