This is a typical view of a mid class neighborhood of Bogota. These houses were probably constructed in the 60’s or 70’s, the same epoch of the old Land Rover in this view. I love that car!
Bogotá is characterized by a cold climate with temperatures oscillating between -5°C – 26°C. However as shown in this picture tropic is evident every where, from the colorful umbrella of a street vendor to the slender palm tree standing out, over the houses at left.
The renowned architect and artist Rogelio Salmona designed these buildings in the early 70s. He was able to harmonize the buildings with their physical and social environment. This is the reason why these buildings are considered as one of the most emblematic constructions of the city.
One of the most representative icons of the city is the Monserrate Hill. Along with Guadalupe hill (past post) is used to represent the city. People can ascend to the top of this hill and visit the sanctuary using a cable rail way or a funicular, or more frequently using a stone road which many penitent use to pay promises to the Monserrate Lord.
Although in some sectors the city is treeless, Bogota has a lot of Parks and green areas. Here we can see the Independence Park at the left and in the back the Guadalupe hill (behind the building), with the Guadalupe Sanctuary in its top. There is a road that reach that place.
Although Bogota has changed a lot during the last ten years when the mayors tried to transform the city in to a more human place, thinking more in the persons, we still have a bad transportation system, based mainly in old and insecure buses. There’s a new system called Transmilenio of big articulated buses and stations similar to those of a metro, but this is not enough and a metro for Bogotá, a city of nearly eight million people, is still far from reality. Any way, if you visit Bogota you will have several alternatives and even traveling in a traditional bus will be something like an exotic experience.
The Botanical Garden of Bogota is one of the most important scientific institutions of the country. It was created in 1955 and named in honor of the Spaniard astronomer Jose Celestino Mutis, a botanist who was the first scientific in making deep studies on the Colombian flora by the year 1783 when he began the Real Botanical Expedition along Colombia.
While the traffic light turns green an improvised juggler plays with some skittles with the hope of receiving some coins from the drivers. It seems a hard work, but people in the red light don’t pay too much attention to those urban artists that like thousands of people in the city live their lives like a juggling act.
Named in honor of the liberator of Colombia, the Bolivar square took its name since 1846 when the Colombian congress set a statue of Simon Bolivar in its center. Before that date the square was used in many ways but particularly as the principal market of the city. Today is a wide flat space rounded by public buildings (catholic and official) including the National Capitol (1847-1926; right), where the Colombian congress meets.
This is one of the interesting places to visit in Bogota: The planetarium inaugurated in 1969. It employs a Zeiss Power Dome projector based on a set of computers joined by a high velocity network that generates astronomic images and sounds. People who visit the planetarium can find additional activities like art expositions, seminars and courses, and can visit the Museum of Bogota located in the same building.
With 42 floors, by the date of its construction the Avianca building was the tallest building of all South America. I was built between 1967 and 1970. It was partially burned in 1973 but it was reconstructed later. Located in the downtown of Bogotá, still today it’s one of the largest buildings of the city. In reality Bogotá has few skyscrapers, instead the city had expanded widely along an extensive plateau. At the left of the picture there is the San Francisco Church from 1611 and at the right there are the headquarters of the central banking of Colombia (Banco de la Republica).
Bogota is changing every day. Citizens are making its part like leaving their cars at home two working days of the week. For many people this is bad for the economy, for others it's a necessary measure. We won't really know how bad or how good it could be, but we hope the city will be better in the future.