About La Candelaria
Many landmark events in the history of Colombian and South American independence took place in the La Candelaria district including the near killing and escape of Simon Bolivar, the execution of revolutionary heroine Policarpa Salavarrieta, known as ‘La Pola,’ and the Grito de Libertad, known as the beginning of the region’s revolution.
The district is indeed teeming with history, and there are a lot of interesting museums and old churches in what is the oldest Bogotá neighborhood. Some streets are reserved to pedestrians. The most important places are La Catedral, Plaza de Bolivar, Palacio de Nariño, Iglesia del Carmen, Biblioteca Luis A Arango (blaa), the Colonial Art Museum and the old architecture of the houses and buildings, almost all of the museums charge no admission. La Candelaria also contains numerous Catholic Churches, many of them centuries-old.
What to see in La Candelaria
- Casa de Moneda, Calle 11 No. 4-21 (Next to Museo Botero), ☎ 343-1223. M-F : 10AM to 8PM , Tu : closed / Sa : 10AM to 7PM / Su : 10AM to 4PM. It has a collection of Colombian coins and the history of moneymaking. Free entrance.
- Cultural Heritage Museum
- Emerald Museum, Calle 16 # 6-66 piso 23 (Avianca Tower), ☎ 2864259. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Colombia is the worldwide largest producer of emeralds in the world and this small museum exhibits some exclusive pieces as well as a recreated mine tunnel. You can also watch artists creating jewellery. The museum is housed on the uppermost floor of the Avianca Skyscraper and offers some beautiful vistas over Bogotá and La Candelaria. All information in Spanish only. The entrance price (5,000 COP) includes a guide.
- Emerald market: Emerald market has a dazzling displays of cut and uncut emeralds of all qualities and sizes for purchase. Worth seeing even if not buying. Also unoffical market close by comprising of many older (read experienced) men standing around carrying emeralds to sell cheaper/tax free.
- Gold Museum (El Museo del Oro), Calle 16 No. 5-41 (On one side of the Parque Santander), ☎ ”+57 1” 284-7450 (fax: ”+57 1” 343-2222).Tu-Sa : 9 to 6 / Su : 10 to 4. Impressive collection of gold and pre-Colombian artifacts from Colombia and surrounding nations. Don’t miss this museum. The Gold Museum is unique and you won’t find a better place to see the pre-Spanish artwork on gold. Most of the information is only available in Spanish, although there are tours held in English. La Casa del Florero was the site of an 1810 protest by Colombians considered to be the initiation of the revolt against Spain. Free English Tour: Tue-Sat 11am & 4pm. Entrance Fee: 3,000 COP, Sun free.
- Banco de la Republica Art Collection (Museo Botero), Calle 11 No. 4-41. Tu-Sa:10AM-7PM, Sun and holidays 10AM-4PM Closed on Mon, including holiday Mondays. Exhibits Permanent Banco de la República Art Collection consisting of nearly 3,000 paintings, sculptures and assembly of Colombian and international masters from the XVI century to our days. Visitors may appreciate a selection of Colombian painters works, for instance Gregorio Vázquez de Arce y Ceballos, the most important Colony painter, Alejandro Obregón, Enrique Grau, Latin American as Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and many other globally renowned. Fernando Botero – Colombias most important and influential painter – donated a big part of his collection to this museum under the condition that the public will have free entrance to the site. Free English Tour: Wed 12.30pm & Fri 4pm. Free Entrance.
- Museum of Colonial Art, Carrera 6 No. 9-77, ☎ 341 6017 ([email protected]). Under Eduardo Santos administration on August 6, 1942 the Colonial Museum containing Viceroy-ship art, silver plates, the Virgin of the Light and the most characteristic Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos collection, among other valuable Colombian culture treasures opened its doors. Declared National Monument National in 1975, Las Aulas Cloister is one of the oldest buildings in Bogotá. Tu-Sa 10AM to 5:30PM / Su from 10AM to 3:30 PM.
- Museum Francisco José de Caldas, Carrera 8 #6-87, ☎ 289-6275 ([email protected]). M-F : 8AM to 5PM / Sa : 8AM to 2PM.Centered around the life of the revolution martyr. Showcases his mapping expedition of Colombia and how he contributed to the revolution by building a fort and a riffle factory in Antioquia. Free entrance.
- Museum of Regional Costumes.
- Museum of Religious Art.
- National Police Historical Museum, Calle 9 No. 9-27, ☎ 233 5911 – 281 3284. M-F : 8AM to 12PM and 1PM to 5PM / Sa : 8AM to 2PM. Its main interest resides in the rooms dedicated to the hunt of Pablo Escobar. Guided tours in Spanish and English. Free entrance.
- Military Museum, Calle 10 # 4-92, ☎ 281 30 86. Not really worth your time, this museum exhibits the military history of Colombia and also has a room assigned to the role that Colombia played in the Korean War. Some German and French made cannons are strewn around the inner courtyard and some rather modern war equipment is located on the outer courtyard, like a helicopter and missiles. If you have too much time in Bogotá, you might consider visiting this museum. Closed on Mondays, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. free.
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