Monday, December 5, 2011

Downtown Bogota

A few weekends ago Jenna and I went to check out downtown Bogota for the first time (which is kind of sad given that we have been here since the end of July) with our own personal tour guide Guillo. He is from Bogota and was eager to tell us about all of the history that happened there and I quite honestly can't remember all of it so I'll throw out a few facts here but let the pictures do most of the talking.

The Plaza Bolivar is full of action pretty much all the time. There are protests, celebrations, and just lots of people coming to mull around in general almost any day of the week so even though it was rainy there were plenty of people around. The building on the left here is the Congress and I can't remember what the one on the right is. I'm sure by now that giant metal thing in the middle has been turned into a Christmas tree!

The little house on the street corner here off one corner of the Plaza Bolivar is apparently where part of the independence movement here in Colombia started in 1810.

This is the Palace of Justice on the north end of the plaza. The palace is famous for the siege which took place here in 1985 where the M19 guerillas took over the palace and ended up killing 11 of the 25 supreme court justices. Let's not dwell on the violent path any more so if you want to know more about this click here.

The Plaza Bolivar is of course named for Simon Bolivar and there are plenty of connections to him here in Bogota including a house where he lived and a window he escaped from when word got to him that a group of people were coming to assassinate him. The house was on one of the many streets just like this one, however by the time we got there it was raining too hard to take any more pictures.

The first observatory in South America (or maybe all of the Americas... can't really remember).

The presidential palace is located just a little bit south of the Plaza Bolivar and just to the left of the observatory in the above picture.

There seem to be about a million old churches in the old downtown area and this is just one of the prettier ones.

A view towards the eastern mountains, a statue of some other famous guy I can't remember the name of, and yet another old church.

Don't take my lack of memory as a sign that I was not impressed with the downtown and its history. I was thoroughly impressed and am looking forward to going back, it's just that there was so much information and so much history that it was overwhelming. Even after 4.5 years in Latin America the history and interactions of places with the Spanish conquistadors and then their subsequent fight for independence from Spain are still fascinating topics.

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