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During my seven years in Bogotá, one point of reference for me has been the the city's official archive: El Archivo de Bogotá. The word archive conjures up images of grey people shuffling down rows of dusty shelfs weighed down with forgotten documents. And, for all I know, that may be accurate. But I've been interested in the Archive's often insightful exhibitions about odd and interesting bits of Colombian history and culture: writers, photographers and long-play record artists.
The entrance to the Archivo de Bogotá.
The modernist concrete building, designed by architect Juan Pablo Ortiz and inaugurated in 2003, stands out in the poor Belén neighborhood, a few blocks south of the city center, where it boasts expensive views of the city center on one side and Bogotá's Eastern Hills on the other. But its location in the city's poorer south makes it less accessible for tourists and even locals: I've seen very few visitors there.
Historical photos of Bogotá in the Archivo's entrance exhibition hall.
A Bogotá cyclist from yesteryear.
Street children, called gamines, from a past era.
One of Bogotá's Tranvias, or streetcars. The system was destroyed by the Bogotazo riots of 1948.
Bogotá's Eastern Hills seen in the afternoon, between two of the Archivo's buildings.