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Colombia: Santa Fé de Antioquia

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Santa Fé de Antioquia | Colombia | Americas

[Visited: April 2009]

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.

Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Brightly coloured window guards and doors are typical of Santa Fé de Antioquia

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.

Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Cobbled street in Santa Fé de Antioquia

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.

Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Palm trees and fountain on the main square of Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Cobbled street in Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Sunset on the main street of Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Red window guards in a colonial house in Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Different colours used for the window guards of houses in Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Brightly coloured red and green doors
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Typical green door frames right on the main square of Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): City square with market stals and trees are the heart of Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): White-washed cathedral of Santa Fé de Antioquia
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Green and red window guards and street lantern
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Iglesia de Jesús Nazareno reflected in a fountain
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Wooden door in typical colours in colonial house in Santa Fé
Picture of Santa Fé de Antioquia (Colombia): Iglesia de Chiquinquirá church

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