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Colombia: La Candelaria

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La Candelaria | Colombia | Americas

[Visited: January 2009]

Upon arrival in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, I immediately went to La Candelaria district, where I easily found a place to stay. While just before I had seen relatively modern buildings, skyscrapers, roads full of cars, walking in La Candelaria soon made me realize that this was still a quite authentic area of the city. I decided by going to the most obvious place to start discovering the historic city centre: the Plaza Bolívar, or the main square named after the famous liberator of South America. Dark clouds were rolling in and seemed to get stuck on the mountains surrounding the 2,600m high capital, and they seemed to put a heavy lid on the square.

Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Primada Cathedral under a dark sky in the late afternoon

Colombians were strolling over the Plaza Bolívar, kids running around, young couples embracing and making plans for the rest of the day; they were all aware of the black clouds hanging ominously above us. On the eastern side of the square, off centre, lies the Catedral Primada or the cathedral of the city. The outline of its unmistakeable colonial architecture was being reinforced by the dark background. This is the true heart of the city, here is where it started immediately upon the arrival of the Spanish in 1538. Nowadays, the square is surrounded by modern buildings like the Court of Justice and the Senate. From here, most of La Candelaria district can be found to the east.

Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Plaza Bolívar with a statue of the liberator surrounded by pigeons

Soon after leaving the lively Plaza Bolívar behind, walking uphill, you enter quiet cobble stone streets with houses painted in different colours: orange, blue, white, yellow. Continuing your way up, and you will feel like being in a town instead of a capital city. Here, there is hardly any traffic, there are just a few people on the streets, and it is only when you turn around and see the vast city lying at the feet of the Monserrate and Guadalupe mountains. Walking down again brings you to splendid buildings like the Teatro Colón, the enormous Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, the Palacio de San Carlos, as well as several colonial churches. It is the combination of these monumental buildings and the cosy, colourful streets that are so close by, that make La Candelaria an attractive area to visit.

Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Street with colourful houses in La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Modern architecture of the Palacio de Justicia on the Plaza Bolívar
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Simón Bolívar seen from below
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Row of houses in La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Door with decorated wall in La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Houses in La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Houses with different colours in La Candelaria district
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Spacious Plaza Bolívar
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Statue of Simón Bolívar and the Alcaldía building
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Cobble stone street in La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): La Candelaria street
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Two doors in a street in the district of La Candelaria
Picture of La Candelaria (Colombia): Corner of a street in the Candelaria district of Bogotá

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from La Candelaria (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 La Candelaria.
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