Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bogota, Columbia – April 1

We climbed Montserrat this morning to get the birds-eye-view of the City.  We didn’t really “climb” the mountain as many penitent locals were doing – we rode the funicular up, and took the cable car down.  There is a monastery and church atop the mountain, and the walk from the funicular to the peak includes statues depicting the stations of the cross.  Semana Santa and Easter are a big deal for the devout here, so we didn’t want to linger as tourists and interfere with the ceremonies.
IMG_1395 Montserrat with the Iglesia just visible atop.IMG_1399 The funicular.IMG_1407 The tram was built in the 1920’s, and includes an 800' foot long tunnel.IMG_1409 Bogota from above.IMG_1415IMG_1414  Around the grounds…IMG_1417 Descent via cable car.
We wandered La Candelaria for the rest of the day, looking at the old colonial architecture and streetlife.  IMG_1443 IMG_1446 IMG_1450 IMG_1449At the Plaza de Bolivar, the National Congress has been adorned with giant ants by Colombian artist Rafael Gomez Barros.  The ants are meant to symbolize the people displaced by the continuing armed conflict between the government, FARC, and right-wing paramilitary groups.IMG_1436 IMG_1440The eastern edge of the square is defined by the Primate Catedral, built between 1807 and 1823.IMG_1431 Along the northern edge is the Palace of Justice, built in the early 1990’s after the original building was destroyed in a 1985 battle between government troops and a guerrilla group known as M-19, in which more than 100 people died including 11 Supreme Court Magistrates.IMG_1438The western edge of the square houses a French style building known as the Liévano building which is the seat for Bogota’s Mayor.IMG_1437We grabbed dinner at "La Mona Pizza" – delicious thin crust pizza with roast peppers, grilled chicken, and ricotta cheese – and some “magnificent” artwork!IMG_1509 IMG_1506

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