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La Candelaria is the historic center of Bogotá, and the city's principal destination for tourists. Home to the top museums, the government palaces, and beautiful old colonial buildings along narrow cobblestone streets, it's a must see.

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  • Casino Casino
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  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
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  • Museum Museum
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Points of Interest in Bogota

  • Casa de Moneda, Calle 11 No. 4-21 (Next to Museo Botero),  343-1223. M-F : 10AM-8PM , Tu : closed / Sa : 10AM-7PM / Su : 10AM-4PM. Has a collection of Colombian coins and the history of moneymaking. Free entrance.
  • Cultural Heritage Museum.
  • Donación Botero, Calle 11 No. 4-41,  +57 1 343-1331. W-F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-7PM and Su 10AM-4PM. Collection of paintings donated by Botero to Bogota. Besides work of Botero the collection contains work from Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Dali and others. Free entrance.
  • 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. La Casa del Florero was the site of an 1810 protest by Colombians considered to be the initiation of the revolt against Spain. The Botero Museum contains both works by Fernando Botero, Colombia's most famous artist, and the contents of his private collection, including works by Picasso, Renoir, Dali and others. The museum was under renovation, up until October 2008 and as of then its open to the public once more so don't miss it out. 2,800 COP.
  • 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 Latin American 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.
  • Museum of Colonial Art, Carrera 6 No. 9-77,  341 6017, e-mail: museocolonial@mincultura.gov.co. Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM / Su from 10AM-3:30PM. 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.
  • Museum Francisco José de Caldas, Carrera 8 #6-87,  289-6275, e-mail: museocaldas@yahoo.com. M-F : 8AM-5PM / Sa : 8AM-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-12PM and 1PM-5PM / Sa : 8AM-2PM. Its main interest resides in the rooms dedicated to the hunt of Pablo Escobar. Guided tours in Spanish and English. Free entrance.

Museum of Colonial Art

Plaza de Bolivar

Catedral Primada de Colombia

Cathedral Primada

Botero Museum

Bogota National Capitol

Luis Angel Arango Library

Torre Colpatria

Colon Theater

Palacio de San Carlos

Casa de Narino

Gold Museum

Primada Cathedral

Chorro de Quevedo Square

Planetario Distrital

Casa de la Moneda

Carmin del Carmen

Parque Central Bavaria

House of the Flower Pot Museum

Santamaria Bullring

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About Bogota

Background

The colonial district is officially the first neighborhood of Bogotá . Colombia's capital city was founded here in 1538 by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada y Rivera in a spot known today as El Chorro de Quevedo. The next year, authorities re-founded the city a few blocks away at what is now known as the Plaza de Bolívar. Bogotá then grew up around the neighborhood. Because the city expanded west and north, La Candelaria retained much of its colonial atmosphere. The neighborhood is full of cobblestone streets and centuries-old houses. It is now a tourist attraction and university district, as well as the site of Colombia's government. Here you'll find most of the public buildings, both from the City and the Country's government. Historical squares, 400 year old churches, picturesque narrow streets are all here, mixing along modern developments of financial business high towers.

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. And 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. The Colombian-American and Colombian-French cultural centers are located in La Candelaria, and a Colombian-Spanish cultural center is under construction.

Food

  • Henry Comida Rapida, Carrera 1 and Calle 19 (On the Los Andes University Plaza). Fast food joint for the nearby university, order a godzilla and you'll be served with what is most likely the biggest empanada of the continent !
  • Asociación Construimos Futuro, Calle 15A #2-21, La Candelaria (Below hospedaje Sugamuxi),  3374323/27, e-mail: asocofuturo2007@yahoo.es. Cooperative of social economy with friendly and helpful staff. Good and varied breakfasts and lunches. The association holds a supermarket besides as well. Around 7000 pesos for breakfast or meal of the day.
  • PitaWok, Carrera 4 #14-88, La Candelaria,  562 75 94. Small and friendly restaurant with excellent Middle-East and Thai food: shawarmas, kebabs, pitas, Wok dishes and Arabian pastries. Food delivery as well. From 5000 pesos.
  • La Monapizza, Carrera 4 #12-25, La Candelaria,  282 16 65. Excellent pizzeria with sizes ranging from pizzeta to grande. The pequeña is more than enough for one person. From 8000 pesos for the small pizza.

Drinks

While La Candelaria, and Centro in general, is not the city's premier nightlife destination by a long stretch, there's still a good range of places to visit. Dance floors are almost non-existent, though, so club-hoppers really should get on the Transmilenio and head north. The few dance options are usually packed with university students.

  • Gato Gris, Kra 1A No 13-12 (Candelaria). This place is just charming in many ways. It is right at the Chorro de Quevedo, the birthplace of Bogotá. It has many nooks and levels, perfect for little intimate gatherings. Great rooftop with fireplaces and views of downtown Bogotá. Italian dishes are delightful, ceviche not so much.


This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Bogotá/La Candelaria on Wikivoyage.

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