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BOGOTA D.C.


Bogota.. a city in central Colombia, is the country's capital, located at an elevation of about 2,650 m. / 8,660 ft. on a mountain rimmed plateau high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains. This gives it constant spring like weather. It lies only 4°36' north of the Equator.

 


Bogotá was founded on the 6th of August 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada who fough the Chibcha Indians near the site of the populous tribe center called Bacatá. The new city became the vice-regal capital of New Granada in 1717. It was captured by Simón Bolívar in 1819 and was the capital of the independent nation of Great Colombia (which included modern day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela). It became the capital of New Granada (later renamed Colombia) in 1830 when Great Colombia was dissolved.
The city grew slowly because Bogotanos (cachacos) wished to preserve their old culture. They cherished their churches, convents, homes (built in the ornate Spanish colonial style) and the National University, founded in 1573. They also prided themselves on speaking the purest Spanish in the New World. The city expanded rapidly after 1940 as large numbers of rural Colombians migrated there in search of greater economic opportunities. It is sometimes called the Athens of South America. Bogotá is now Colombia's largest financial, political, and cultural center. The National University of Colombia and many other universities located there make Bogotá the nation's chief educational center.

Today Bogotá is a cosmopolitan city in continuous expansion. It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas, not only in Colombia, but also in South America. Its almost 6 million inhabitants include a multitude of immigrants from all over the world, which makes the capital a true microcosm of the nation. Modern highrises and skyscrapers contrast with old houses of colonial and republican architecture. Bogotá offers residents and visitors everything that a modem city can give. Cultural activities abound and its enormous selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs offers all kinds of food and entertainment.

A pictures city, it is known for its colonial architecture, its collection of pre-Colombian gold art, and its bookshops and splendid colonial churches. It is also a city of futuristic architecture, modern highrises, brilliant museums, and skyscrapers. Bogotá offers residents and visitors everything that a modem city can give including a vibrant and diverse cultural and intellectual life. It is also a city of Dickensian waifs, beggars, shantytowns and traffic jams.
This amazing mixture of prosperity and poverty, Masseratis and mules, makes it one of the world's most chaotic, fascinating and aggressive metropolises. Tourists that visit Bogotá fall in love with the city, and would like to remain forever there.

 


 

Major suburbs include Bosa, Engativá, Fontibón, Suba, Usaquén, and Usme. Industries include printing and publishing, motor-vehicle assembly, food processing, and the manufacture of beverages, textiles, metals goods, machinery, and electrical equipment. Many banks and corporations maintain their headquarters in the city. Railroads and highways, including the Pan-American Highway, link the city with other major centers. The international Eldorado Airport is nearby.

The city is flanked by mountains to the east. On the summit of one of them stands the sanctuary of Monserrate, the main point of reference of the city.

The streets of Bogotá have been laid out as a grid pattern. The carreras (streets) run parallel to the mountains from south to north. They are abbreviated as Cr, K and Crs.

The calles (also streets) run from east to west and cross the carreras perpendicularly, they are abbreviated as C, Cll and Cl. Others, called Diagonales, run diagonally east-west like the Calles, and the Transversales also run diagonally but south-north.

Avenidas, abbreviated as Av, are usually larger and main streets. The numerical system for the Avenidas is used but some have names like Avenida Jimenez de Quesada, Avenida Caracas, etc. Each address consist of a series of numbers, for example: Calle 42 # 15-34. This means that the house on calle 42 is 34 meters from the corner of carrera 15 towards the 16.

 

Generally speaking, Bogotá can be divided into four large zones:

The northern zone: modern, commercial and residential, is where most of the financial activity is carried out and where many cultural and recreational activities take place.


The central zone:(downtown): between carreras 1 to 14 and calles 5 to 34, which includes the colonial neighborhood of La Candelaria and the so-called International Center, and is where the majority of government offices, museums, churches and other buildings of historical, artistic and cultural interest are located.


The western zone: where large industry, various parks and sports centers, administrative offices, and the EIdorado Airport are located.

The southern zone: Starts at Calle 1 sur, it has a large population with some commerce, houses, parks and industry.

 


Weather

Bogotá is the third highest capital in south America after La Paz and Quito, the city is located on a mountain rimmed plateau known as the Sabana de Bogotá high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains, at an elevation of about 2,650 m. (about 8,660 ft.).
If you come by air from the lowlands you may feel a bit dizzy, so it is advisable not be too active for the first 24-48 hours.
The climate is temperate, but considerable variations in temperature can occur during the day, with warm sunny mornings and cold nights. The average temperature is around 14.4° C (58° F) all year round dropping to about 9° C at night and rising to around 18° C and higher when sunny. In the rainy season, there is less difference between day and night temperatures. The main dry season lasts from December to March, and the wettest months are April and October.

 

PLACES.

The city of Bogotá has a great variety of tourist places, with a combination of colonial buildings and skyscrapers.
Points of interest in the city include:

La Candelaria zone, with several museums, cultural scenery and art exhibitions.
La Plaza de Bolívar, surrounded by government buildings representing several styles and areas.


 

Among the numerous churches are those of Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Ignacio, the Cathedral situated in La Plaza de Bolívar, La Tercera San Diego and the sanctuary of Monserrate.

 


 

The list of museums can be headed with the famous Gold Museum which is a testimony to native Indian culture. The Religious Art Museum has an exhibit of La Lechuga, where you can see 1,486 emeralds encrusted in gold. There is also the National Museum, El 20 de Julio or Casa del Florero, the Museum of Modern Art, the Mint and la Quinta de Bolívar.

Numerous art galleries display and sell the works of both Colombian and international contemporary artists.

Concerts are held in theater halls such as Teatro Colon, Colsubsidio, or in Luis Angel Arango Library and the Leon de Greiff hall at the Universidad Nacional.

 

Several theater groups are based in Bogotá and present both classical and modern works. The principal groups include the Teatro Popular de Bogotá, Teatro Libre, Teatro Nacional, and La Candelaria.


 

If you like bull fighting you can go to the Plaza de Toros de Santamaria.

Corferias, Corporacion de ferias y exposiciones, is where countries get together to show their technology.

 

Among other places there are La Zona Rosa, for shopping fun, gourmet food and entertainment, and also the Planetario, Botanical Garden and Shopping centers, such as Hacienda Santa Barbara, Centro Comercial Andino and Unicentro.

                                                                  

 

 

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