Theme Week Colombia – Bogotá

Saturday, 24 June 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  11 minutes

La Candelaria, the historical district © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0

La Candelaria, the historical district © flickr.com – Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0

Bogotá, officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogotá (lit. ‘Holy Faith of Bogotá) during the Spanish Colonial period and between 1991 and 2000, is the capital city of Colombia, and one of the largest cities in the world. The city is administered as the Capital District, as well as the capital of, though not part of, the surrounding department of Cundinamarca. Bogotá is a territorial entity of the first order, with the same administrative status as the departments of Colombia. It is the political, economic, administrative, and industrial center of the country.

Bogotá was founded as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada on 6 August 1538 by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada after a harsh expedition into the Andes conquering the Muisca, the indigenous inhabitants of the Altiplano. Santafé (its name after 1540) became the seat of the government of the Spanish Royal Audiencia of the New Kingdom of Granada (created in 1550), and then after 1717 it was the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. After the Battle of Boyacá on 7 August 1819, Bogotá became the capital of the independent nation of Gran Colombia. It was Simón Bolívar who rebaptized the city with the name of Bogotá, as a way of honoring the Muisca people and as an emancipation act towards the Spanish crown. Hence, since the Viceroyalty of New Granada’s independence from the Spanish Empire and during the formation of present-day Colombia, Bogotá has remained the capital of this territory.

The city is located in the center of Colombia, on a high plateau known as the Bogotá savanna, part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. Bogotá is the third-highest capital in South America and in the world after Quito and La Paz, at an average of 2,640 meters (8,660 ft) above sea level. Subdivided into 20 localities, Bogotá has an area of 1,587 square kilometers (613 square miles) and a relatively cool climate that is constant through the year.

The city is home to central offices of the executive branch (Office of the President), the legislative branch (Congress of Colombia) and the judicial branch (Supreme Court of Justice, Constitutional Court, Council of State and the Superior Council of Judicature) of the Colombian government. Bogotá stands out for its economic strength and associated financial maturity, its attractiveness to global companies and the quality of human capital. It is the financial and commercial heart of Colombia, with the most business activity of any city in the country. The capital hosts the main financial market in Colombia and the Andean natural region, and is the leading destination for new foreign direct investment projects coming into Latin America and Colombia. It has the highest nominal GDP in the country, responsible for almost a quarter of the nation’s total (24.7%). The city’s airport, El Dorado International Airport, named after the mythical El Dorado, handles the largest cargo volume in Latin America, and is third in number of passengers. Bogotá is home to the largest number of universities and research centers in the country, and is an important cultural center, with many theaters, libraries and museums. Bogotá ranks 52nd on the Global Cities Index 2014, and is considered a global city type “Beta +” by GaWC.

Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0 Bogotá as seen from Montserrat mountain © Event/cc-by-sa-4.0 Botero Museum © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0 Del Rosario University © AndresJaramillo1992/cc-by-sa-3.0 La Candelaria, the historical district © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0 La Santa Maria bullring © Carlos Andrés Prada Durán/cc-by-sa-2.5 Sabana railway station © Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0 Parque La Colina Shopping Mall © EEIM/cc-by-sa-4.0 Plaza de Bolívar © Javierleiva/cc-by-sa-4.0 Santa Barbara business district © Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0 Teatro Cristóbal Colón © Baiji/cc-by-sa-3.0 Virgilio Barco Public Library © Mario Carvajal/cc-by-sa-3.0
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La Candelaria, the historical district © flickr.com - Pedro Szekely/cc-by-sa-2.0
Bogotá has many cultural venues including 58 museums, 62 art galleries, 33 library networks, 45 stage theaters, 75 sports and attraction parks, and over 150 national monuments. Many of these are renowned globally such as: The Luis Ángel Arango Library, the most important in the region which receives well over 6 million visitors a year. The Colombian National Museum, one of the oldest in the Americas, dating back to 1823. The Ibero-American Theater Festival, largest of its kind in the world, receives 2 million attendees enjoying over 450 performances across theaters and off the street. The Bogotá Philharmonic is the most important symphony orchestra in Colombia, with over 100 musicians and 140 performances a year. The city has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of music since March 2012. In 2007, Bogotá was named World Book Capital by UNESCO. The Cristóbal Colón Theater, the country’s oldest Opera House, opened in 1892. It is home to the National Symphony Association’s major act, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. Rock al Parque or Rock at the Park is an open air rock music festival. Recurring annually, it gathers over 320,000 music fans who can enjoy over 60 band performances for free during three days a year. The series have been so successful during its 15 years of operation that the city has replicated the initiative for other music genres, resulting in other recent festivals like Salsa at the Park, Hip Hop at the Park, Ballet at the Park, Opera at the Park, and Jazz at the Park. Kids’ Choice Awards Colombia, are the awards given in the city by Nickelodeon and the first ceremony was given in 2014 by the singer Maluma and in Corferias the ceremony has been the home of shows given by artists like Austin Mahone, Carlos Peña, Don Tetto and Riva among others. Bogotá has worked in recent years to position itself as leader in cultural offerings in South America, and it is increasingly being recognized worldwide as a hub in the region for the development of the arts. In 2007, Bogotá was awarded the title of Cultural Capital of Ibero-America by the UCCI (Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities), and it became the only city to have received the recognition twice, after being awarded for the first time in 1991.

The urban morphology and typology of colonial buildings in Bogotá have been maintained since the late nineteenth century, long after the independence of Colombia (1810). This persistence of the colonial setting is still visible, particularly in La Candelaria, the historical center of Bogotá. Also kept up are the colonial houses of two stories, with courtyards, gabled roofs, ceramic tiles and balconies. In some cases, these balconies were enclosed with glass windows during the Republican period, a distinguishing feature of the architecture of the sector (for example, the House of Rafael Pombo). “Republican Architecture” was the style that prevailed between 1830 and 1930. Although there were attempts to consolidate a modern architectural language, the only examples seen are University City and White City at the National University of Colombia (constructed 1936 to 1939). This work was developed by German architect Leopold Rother, although architects of rationalist trends participated in the design of campus buildings. There are also architecture trends such as art deco, expressionism and organic architecture. This last trend was typified by Bogotan architects in the second half of the twentieth century such as Rogelio Salmona. In 2015 BD Bacatá was inaugurated, surpassing the Colpatria Tower to become the tallest building of the city and of Colombia. The building its expected to be the beginning of the city’s downtown renovation. There are numerous parks in Bogotá, with facilities for concerts, plays, movies, storytellers, and other activities.

There is a broad array of restaurants in Bogotá that serve typical and international food. Parque de la 93, Usaquén, Zona T, The G Zone, La Macarena, La Candelaria, The parkway and the International Center are some of the main sectors where a number of international restaurants are found, ranging from Argentinian, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Brazilian, Mexican, American establishments to Arabic, Asian, French, Italian, Russian and British bistros, rotisseries, steakhouses and pubs, just to name a few. Typical dishes of Bogotá include the ajiaco, a soup prepared with chicken, a variety of potatoes, corn on the cob, and guascas (an herb), usually served with sour cream and capers, and accompanied by avocado and rice. Tamales is a very traditional Bogotá dish. Colombian tamal is a paste made with rice, beef, pork and/or chicken (depending on the region), chickpea, carrot, and spices, wrapped in plantain leaves and steam-cooked. Figs with arequipe, strawberries with cream, postre de natas and cuajada con melao are some of the main desserts offered in the city. Canelazo is a hot drink from the Altiplano prepared with aguapanela, cinnamon and aguardiente. Another hot beverage is the carajillo, made with coffee (tinto as it is known in Colombia) and aguardiente.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Colombia.travel – Bogotá, Wikivoyage Bogotá and Wikipedia Bogotá. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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