Theme Week Colombia

Monday, 19 June 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  10 minutes

The Axis of Peace and Memory, a memorial to the victims of the Colomibian conflict in Bogotá © Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Axis of Peace and Memory, a memorial to the victims of the Colomibian conflict in Bogotá
© Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country mostly in South America with insular regions in North America. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east and northeast, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the south and southwest, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Panama to the northwest. Colombia is divided into 32 departments. The Capital District of Bogotá is also the country’s largest city hosting the main financial and cultural hub, and other major urbes include Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Cúcuta, Ibagué, Villavicencio and Bucaramanga. It covers an area of 1,141,748 square kilometers (440,831 sq mi), and has a population of around 52 million. Colombia is the largest Spanish-speaking country in South America. Its cultural heritage—including language, religion, cuisine, and art—reflects its history as a colony, fusing cultural elements brought by immigration from Europe and the Middle East, with those brought by the African diaspora, as well as with those of the various Indigenous civilizations that predate colonization. Spanish is the Official language, although English and 64 other languages are recognized regionally.

Colombia has been home to many indigenous peoples and cultures since at least 12,000 BCE. The Spanish first landed in La Guajira in 1499, and by the mid-16th century they had colonized much of present-day Colombia, and established the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santa Fé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from the Spanish Empire was achieved in 1819, with what is now Colombia emerging as the United Provinces of New Granada. The new polity experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858) and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before becoming a republic—the current Republic of Colombia—in 1886. With the backing of the United States and France, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, resulting in Colombia’s present borders. Beginning in the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability and rule of law, as well as unprecedented economic growth and development. Colombia is recognized for its health system, being the best healthcare in the Americas according to The World Health Organization and 22nd on the planet, In 2022, 26 Colombian hospitals were among the 61 best in Latin America (42% total). Also in 2023, two Colombian hospitals were among the Top 75 of the world.

Colombia is one of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries; it has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Its territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands and deserts. It is the only country in South America with coastlines (and islands) along both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Las Lajas Sanctuary in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0 Port of Cartagena © Pe-sa/cc-by-sa-3.0 Barranquilla © CAMILOFORE2/cc-by-sa-4.0 Pereira © SebastianJPereira/cc-by-sa-4.0 Capitolio Nacional, seat of the Congress in Bogotá © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0 Palace of Justice of Colombia, seat and symbol of the Judiciary of Colombia in Bogotá © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Axis of Peace and Memory, a memorial to the victims of the Colomibian conflict in Bogotá © Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bucaramanga © EEIM/cc-by-sa-4.0 Cúcuta © EEIM/cc-by-sa-4.0
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The Axis of Peace and Memory, a memorial to the victims of the Colomibian conflict in Bogotá © Felipe Restrepo Acosta/cc-by-sa-3.0
Colombia lies at the crossroads of Latin America and the broader American continent, and as such has been hit by a wide range of cultural influences. Native American, Spanish and other European, African, American, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, as well as other Latin American cultural influences, are all present in Colombia’s modern culture. Urban migration, industrialization, globalization, and other political, social and economic changes have also left an impression (Culture of Colombia, Festivals in Colombia and Colombian folklore). Many national symbols, both objects and themes, have arisen from Colombia’s diverse cultural traditions and aim to represent what Colombia, and the Colombian people, have in common. Cultural expressions in Colombia are promoted by the government through the Ministry of Culture.

Throughout the times, there have been a variety of architectural styles, from those of indigenous peoples to contemporary ones, passing through colonial (military and religious), Republican, transition and modern styles. Ancient habitation areas, longhouses, crop terraces, roads as the Inca road system, cemeteries, hypogeums and necropolises are all part of the architectural heritage of indigenous peoples. Some prominent indigenous structures are the preceramic and ceramic archaeological site of Tequendama, Tierradentro (a park that contains the largest concentration of pre-Columbian monumental shaft tombs with side chambers), the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America, located in San Agustín, Huila, Lost city (an archaeological site with a series of terraces carved into the mountainside, a net of tiled roads, and several circular plazas), and the large villages mainly built with stone, wood, cane, and mud. Architecture during the period of conquest and colonization is mainly derived of adapting European styles to local conditions, and Spanish influence, especially Andalusian and Extremaduran, can be easily seen. When Europeans founded cities two things were making simultaneously: the dimensioning of geometrical space (town square, street), and the location of a tangible point of orientation. The construction of forts was common throughout the Caribbean and in some cities of the interior, because of the dangers posed to Spanish colonial settlements from English, French and Dutch pirates and hostile indigenous groups. Churches, chapels, schools, and hospitals belonging to religious orders have a great urban influence. Baroque architecture is used in military buildings and public spaces. Marcelino Arroyo, Francisco José de Caldas and Domingo de Petrés were great representatives of neo-classical architecture. The National Capitol is a great representative of romanticism. Wood was extensively used in doors, windows, railings, and ceilings during the colonization of Antioquia. The Caribbean architecture acquires a strong Arabic influence. The Teatro Colón in Bogotá is a lavish example of architecture from the 19th century. The quintas houses with innovations in the volumetric conception are some of the best examples of the Republican architecture; the Republican action in the city focused on the design of three types of spaces: parks with forests, small urban parks and avenues and the Gothic style was most commonly used for the design of churches. Deco style, modern neoclassicism, eclecticism folklorist and art deco ornamental resources significantly influenced the architecture of Colombia, especially during the transition period. Modernism contributed with new construction technologies and new materials (steel, reinforced concrete, glass and synthetic materials) and the topology architecture and lightened slabs system also have a great influence. The most influential architects of the modern movement were Rogelio Salmona and Fernando Martínez Sanabria. The contemporary architecture of Colombia is designed to give greater importance to the materials, this architecture takes into account the specific natural and artificial geographies and is also an architecture that appeals to the senses. The conservation of the architectural and urban heritage of Colombia has been promoted in recent years (Architecture of Colombia and Muisca architecture).

Colombia’s varied cuisine is influenced by its diverse fauna and flora as well as the cultural traditions of the ethnic groups. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. Colombia cuisine also features a variety of tropical fruits such as cape gooseberry, feijoa, arazá, dragon fruit, mangostino, granadilla, papaya, guava, mora (blackberry), lulo, soursop and passionfruit. Colombia is one of the world’s largest consumers of fruit juices. Among the most representative appetizers and soups are patacones (fried green plantains), sancocho de gallina (chicken soup with root vegetables) and ajiaco (potato and corn soup). Representative snacks and breads are pandebono, arepas (corn cakes), aborrajados (fried sweet plantains with cheese), torta de choclo, empanadas and almojábanas. Representative main courses are bandeja paisa, lechona tolimense, mamona, tamales and fish dishes (such as arroz de lisa), especially in coastal regions where kibbeh, suero, costeño cheese and carimañolas are also eaten. Representative side dishes are papas chorreadas (potatoes with cheese), remolachas rellenas con huevo duro (beets stuffed with hard-boiled egg) and arroz con coco (coconut rice). Organic food is a current trend in big cities, although in general across the country the fruits and veggies are very natural and fresh.

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

Read more on Colombia.travel, History of Colombia, Culture of Colombia, Economy of Colombia, Foreign relations of Colombia, Human rights in Colombia, Architecture of Colombia, List of World Heritage Sites in Colombia, Tourism in Colombia, Colombian cuisine, Wikivoyage Colombia und Wikipedia Colombia. 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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