The bus ride from Medellín to Santa Fé de Antioquia took much shorter than I had expected based on old information: with the completion of the tunnel, traveling time has been cut down considerably. A short walk uphill from the main road took me directly to the Plaza Mayor, or main square, where I took a room in a very nice hotel. I immediately started my first walk in the town, and was struck by the well-preserved streets and houses. Many houses are white, but there are also brightly red, yellow, blue and green houses. Even more remarkable are the coloured window guards, most of which are fine pieces of art upon closer inspection.
As the light in Santa Fé de Antioquia was quickly deteriorating, I had a nice lunch in a restaurant without a name, and returned to the colonial town later that afternoon. The late afternoon sun was casting its light on the colourful houses of this colonial town, with some giant pink clouds in the sky. I dropped by the local cemetery, on the southeastern side of the city. Apart from the beauty of Santa Fé de Antioquia, I noticed how very friendly and welcoming people were. Many greeted me in the streets, saluted me from a distance, and again I was happy to speak Spanish. The next morning, I woke up early to be able to catch the best light of the day, and was not disappointed. The colours and the cobbled streets looked even better than the day before.
I visited several churches in Santa Fé de Antioquia, notably the Iglesia de Chiquinquirá, the Jesús Nazareno and the Santa Barbara, but unfortunately the cathedral was closed for reparation works. I spent some time on the main square, visiting the market stalls where I bought some typical sweets, having a rest under one of the mango trees that were choke-full of the tropical fruit - but not ready to eat yet. Plaza Mayor is where most people meet, sitting on one of the benches in the small park in the middle or near the fountain donated to the town by Medellín, the successor capital of Antioquia, or having a drink in one of the many restaurants. Founded in the mid 16th century, Santa Fé de Antioquia was the capital of Antioquia, but that title was transferred to Medellín in 1826. While the latter developed into one of the biggest cities of Colombia, Santa Fé de Antioquia has probably not developed much since the early 19th century. This now is one of its main draws. The peaceful, friendly atmosphere of Santa Fé makes this a very pleasant town to visit.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Santa Fé de Antioquia (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 Santa Fé de Antioquia. Read more about this site.