June 24, 2021

Bogotá´s surroundings

Salt mines and Cathedral

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zipaquira salt mines

The original name of the Indian population was Chicaquicha, it means “foot of Zipa,” Zipa “was the chief of the tribe. The Indian population lived in Pueblo Viejo, 183 m higher from Zipaquirá.

The city of Zipaquira was founded on July 18, 1600, by the Spanish  citizen Luis Henriquez. “Chicaquicha” was the original name of the Indian village, Chicaquicha it is an indigenous word that, according to studies, means foot of the hill of Zipa. The move of the old population happened in 1692. This has led to some historians claiming that Zipaquira was founded this year .. The point of “Puebloviejo” is 1500 meters from the city. The town of Zipaquira, which belongs to the department of Cundinamarca, is 49 kilometers north of Bogota. The city is 2,650 meters above sea level, and with an average temperature of 14 º C. The current population is approximately 100,000 inhabitants and its economy is the salt, chemical and glass industries. Is the center of the cattle market. Zipaquira is famous for its salt cathedral, which is why it is an important tourist center.

The Salt Cathedral

In the old days the miners when they opened the galleries, they built small chapels for their holy lady  the “Virgen del Rosario de Guasa”, “Guasa” is an indegenous word from the Chibcha language, it means tunnels or caves. One day the miners had invited a priest to celebrate a Thanks-giving mass in the mines. This priest knew about the underground salt church in Poland. He said to the miners: whether there is a salt church in Poland, why in Zipaquirá we better build a large cathedral.

The miners thought the idea was fantastic, and so they started work on 1950, but they made the adjustment in nineteenth-century tunnels, the rooms were so big that you had to support the salt cathedral with wood and tie the pillars with big iron cables. But the damp rotten the wood and salt rusted the iron cables, the salt cathedral slowly began to fall. On 1992 they had to be closed. The old salt cathedral was a symbol for Zipaquirá, everyone said: we cannot remain without the salt cathedral, we have to build a new one. On the third and lowest level of the Minne, there was a gallery that had finished its commercial work, from there they had taken out 250,000 tons of salt, it was a technical building, so it was decided how they could make the adjustment from Minne to the cathedral for that, they did an architecture competition, and the architect who won this competition is Rooswell Garavito from Bogotá. The new salt cathedral was opened on December 16, 1995. It is created with three large ships, where you can see the largest cross below in the world. The tourists think that the new salt cathedral is so beautiful that it can be the eighth wonder of the world.

Guatavita Sacred lagoon

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Coffe Farms

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Villa de Leyva

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