bogotá

bogotá: cementerio central

Cementerio Central, Bogotá, Colombia

King Carlos II of Spain declared burials inside or beside churches illegal in 1787, but the American colonies waited awhile to implement those new rules. Old habits are hard to break. Buenos Aires opened Recoleta Cemetery in 1822, but Bogotá inaugurated their first public cemetery much earlier in 1791. The same plan for that first cemetery was used for the layout of the Cementerio Central, opening in 1825.

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bogotá: main museums

Museo de Oro, Bogotá, Colombia

I’ve enjoyed going to museums my whole life. Every Saturday as a kid growing up in Memphis, I remember pestering my mother to take me to the Pink Palace –a fantastic natural history museum– if we weren’t going to the zoo or to the movies. Or maybe do all three! No matter how many times I went, there was always something new to learn.

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bogotá: architecture

City view, from Atlantis shopping center, Bogotá

Bogotá’s growth as a city seemed to be outward rather than upward. Its relative lack of tall buildings point to the fact that acquiring new land was more economic than tearing down older structures & constructing taller ones in their place. Also, the fact that the region is prone to earthquakes made building low a priority. Good examples of colonial buildings dot La Candelaria. The biggest wow for me was the Franciscan Iglesia La Tercera, with construction beginning in 1760 & full of exquisite Rococo carvings… probably of walnut, very dark & sensual:

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bogotá: first impressions

Calle 19, Bogotá, Colombia

The Colombian capital evidently receives little tourism —odd since bogotanos are ultra friendly, the city sits in a privileged spot, the food is excellent, public transportation is easy & it’s an active & vibrant place. After seven days I felt I’d seen a good portion of the city, but there’s definitely more to explore for a second visit.

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