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Bogotá's Central Cemetery; A Place of History and Faith

Bogotá's Central Cemetery is both an active cemetery and an officially-designated museum, thanks to its history, politics and traditions. Established in 1827 by a decree signed by Simon Bolivar, the cemetery now contains more than 30,000 tombs.


Among those buried in the Central Cemetery are ex-presidents, military leaders, guerrillas, artists and martyrs, as well as many common people - all sharing their final resting place. Among the most famous tombs is that of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, who was assassinated in 1989 on orders of Pablo Escobar, revolutionary leader Francisco de Paula Santander and businessman Leo Kopp.



Flowers on the tomb of Luis Carlos Galan, a presidential candidate assassinated by drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar in 1989.


The tomb of the four Bodmer girls, all of whom died in childhood around 1900. Some visitors believe the girls have miraculous curative powers and leave them gifts of flowers, candies and toys.


The tomb of poet Jose Silva, who is on the 5,000 bill. He is buried beside his sister Elvira, who is on the back of the bank note. Some say that Silva was in love with her. She died young and he committed suicide a few years later. You can visit Silva's home, now a cultural center, in La Candelaria.


A bronze statue of Leo Kopp, the founder of the Bavaria Beer Company. A Jewish-German immigrant, Kopp is said to have been a generous employer who built a whole neighborhood, La Perseverancia, for his workers. Today, he has become a popular saint.


Believers line up to whisper in Leo Kopp's ear and ask him for favors.


Revolutionary leader Francisco de Paula Santander, an ally and later a rival of Simon Bolivar. Santander's remains are now interred in Cucuta, his birthplace.


Jose Mercado, a union leader kidnapped and murdered by the M-19 guerrillas.


A comet on the tomb of astonomer Julio Garavito, who is the 20,000 pesos bill.

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Guest Tuesday, 27 January 2015


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