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Bogotá in the Bicentennial

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Haga click sobre la imagen para ampliarla Bicentennial logo in Bogotá / Credits: Secretaría de Recreación, Cultura y Deporte de Bogotá.<br />

Bicentennial logo in Bogotá / Credits:  Secretaría de Recreación, Cultura y Deporte de Bogotá.

The history of Colombian Independence started in the city of Bogotá when an incident related with the loan of a flower vase –Llorente’s flower vase– was used as an excuse to detonate the series of events that triggered the independence heroic deed. It also ended in Bogotá after winning the glorious Battle of Boyacá and entering triumphant in Santafé –name given to Bogotá at that time.

Bogotá witnessed the independence victory.

The famous cry for independence took place on July 20th, 1810, date in which the battles started. In 1815, Spain launched a series of attacks in order to regain control of the rebel provinces, but in 1819 after the Liberating Campaign disarmed the peasants obtaining their surrender, the independent republic was born.

A Mysterious and Centennial Urn

Haga click sobre la imagen para ampliarla Michel Riff.">Centennial urn kept at the Museum of Bogotá / Photo: Flickr user <a href=Michel Riff." />

Centennial urn kept at the Museum of Bogotá / Photo: Flickr user Michel Riff.

In 1910, during the first centennial of the independence, an urn or time capsule was sealed containing historical archives on Colombia of that period and its relation with history. On the 20th of July of 2010, a hundred years later, the secrets of such period will be revealed in the Museum of Bogotá during a formal ceremony.

The lead chest has some inscriptions and the documents and items it contains will become part of the collection of the Museum of Bogotá to be displayed after the reveal ceremony. Since history is made every day and memories are its most valuable legacy, a new urn containing information on Colombia today will be preserved, which will be opened a hundred years later in 2110.

Therefore, an announcement will be made for the inhabitants of Bogotá to contribute their ideas on the items that should be included in this new time capsule, which will remain secret for a century until Colombia’s third centennial. The Museum of Bogotá where the urn is displayed is located at Carrera 4 # 10 – 18.

Touring La Candelaria

Bogotá was born at the Chorro de Quevedo (Quevedo Stream) in La Candelaria.

La Candelaria is the historic neighborhood barrio histórico of Bogotá, located downtown. The predominant colonial and republican architecture of its houses and buildings bear witness to the times of Simón Bolívar and the national heroes of Colombia. Each house, each corner tells a story or anecdote that enriches people’s memory.

One afternoon is not enough to visit the many places offered by this area that once was the capital of the Nueva Granada, to tour all its museums and walk its streets (some of which are still paved). These are some of the places included in every tourist’s list:

  • Plaza de Bolívar, surrounded by the administrative buildings of the Congress of the Republic, the Palace of Justice, Palacio Liévano (Mayor’s Office) and Palacio de Nariño (The Presidency of the Republic). Its republican, neoclassic, and modern architecture mix with the colonial architecture of the Catedral Primada (Principal Cathedral) and the Capilla del Sagrario (Sacrarium Chapel).
  • Chorro de Quevedo, historic place where Bogotá was founded. According to history, the city started with twelve small houses and a chapel surrounding a central square.
Haga click sobre la imagen para ampliarla Commemorative plaque in the Plaza de Bolívar of Bogotá / Photo: Flickr user Martín Duque A.

Commemorative plaque in the Plaza de Bolívar of Bogotá / Photo: Flickr user Martín Duque A.

  • Museums like the Botero Museum, Museum of Bogotá, the Gold Museum Museo del Oro (with a large collection of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts), Casa de la Moneda, and 20 de Julio Museum.
  • Located north of La Candelaria, the National Museum houses the largest collection of Colombian art works in the country and offers a colonial art exhibition room. This building served as a prison during the first years of the republic and constitutes one of the oldest museums of Latin America.
  • Quinta de Bolívar House Museum is a beautiful hacienda once inhabited by Manuelita Sáenz and the Libertador (Simón Bolívar).
  • Silva Poetry House, Enrique Grau House, the house of Francisco José de Caldas, and Francisco de Paula Santander House Museum.
  • The Casa de los Comuneros (House of The Commoners), one of the best-preserved buildings framing Plaza de Bolívar.
Haga click sobre la imagen para ampliarla Urna centenaria en el Museo de Bogotá / Fot: Usuario de Flickr Michel Riff.

Museo del 20 de Julio en Bogotá / Fot: Usuario de Flickr mauricio Ballén.

Celebration of July 20th in Bogotá

In 2010, the entire city of Bogotá prepares to give its best during the celebration of the Bicentennial Independence Day. It will hold an enormous parade with the public forces and the Great National Concert featuring the most important exponents of Colombian music for the enjoyment of both Bogotanians and tourists visiting the city.

Perhaps the most anticipated surprise is the great display of light and color of the fireworks manipulated by the professionals who designed the fireworks show of Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games.

 

Follow the footsteps of the Founding Fathers ...

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