Around the World in 80 Clicks

inspiring you to travel

Colombia: Alto de Segovia tombs

Mission accomplished image

Alto de Segovia tombs | Colombia | Americas

[Visited: January 2009]

Earlier that day, we had visited the Alto de San Andrés, which unfortunately had several tombs closed. From there, we directly walked to the museum, having some superb fresh sugar cane juice/lemon drink on the way. After we worked our way up to the Alto de Segovia from the museum, we arrived at a small plateau with several roofs. These were protecting the entrances to the tombs, which were all closed with a padlock. A guard appeared, and welcomed us to the site. He opened the locks in the first site, opened the door, and switched on the lights. We descended the stairs of the first tomb, with some high steps, and when we reached the wooden fence blocking the entrance to the burial chamber, we stood still in amazement.

Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Tomb of Alto de Segovia: faces on pillars

Before our eyes, we saw an underground burial chamber hacked out in the volcanic rock, with colourful geometrical figures painted on the walls and the columns. On the top side of the columns, we saw faces engraved. The figures on the wall were painted in several colours: white, black, red, and ochre. In many of the tombs at Alto de Segovia, these wall paintings have survived the many centuries since they were made remarkably well. The tombs at Alto de Segovia are the only ones at Tierradentro that are lit. After we had seen the first tomb, we visited several others, and were surprised to find that every tomb was unique.

Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Pillar with face inside a tomb of Tierradentro

Some had walls that were painted completely, while others were mostly white, with lines on the ceiling, and decorations mainly on the columns. The tombs, or hypogeums, were similar in that they almost all have two freestanding columns in the central area, while the walls have more columns jutting out from the wall. The rooms between these columns were used to place the urns with the remains of the deceased, as well as jewelry. Obviously, the riches of these tombs had been taken by tomb-raiders a long time ago, some of the urns can be found in the museum. But the tombs are rich in themselves: their beauty is amazing and a sign that the early civilization who made them, the Chibcha, were masters at painting. When we finally left the Alto de Segovia, we were deeply impressed.

Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Face and figures in a tomb of Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Decorations on columns and wall in a tomb of Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Burial chamber at Alto de Segovia
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Typical face in a tomb of the Tierradentro area
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Figures on the ceiling of a tomb at Alto de Segovia
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Geometric figures on the columns and wall of a tomb at Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Looking inside a tomb of Alto de Segovia with mural paintings
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Tomb fenced off at Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): The way down into a tomb at Alto de Segovia
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Detail of tomb: face and painted wall at Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Tomb with pillar and sculpted figure at Tierradentro
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Detail of tomb with face and decorated wall
Picture of Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia): Geometric forms depicted on the wall of a tomb at Tierradentro

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Alto de Segovia tombs (Colombia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Alto de Segovia tombs.
Read more about this site.

Follow us