Like any good capital city with a colonial past, one neighborhood stands out amidst the others with a historic flair, unmistakeable surroundings and culture, attractions that make it truly unique. In Colombia’s capital city of Bogota this area is known as La Candelaria.
This is the heart and soul of La Candelaria in terms of history. Like many towns of Spaniard influence it is the seat of provincial government and the location of the Baroque style Cathedral Mother-church. Here one can snap an iconic photo, see street art or theater, and get at least exterior views of the Palace of Justice and the National Capital. Christmas and many other holiday’s feature the city’s best decorations in the massive square.
This square is the center of Nightlife for the Candelaria district. The Bohemian crowd who calls this area home and hangout are mostly university aged and they enjoy all sorts of collective music at hole in the wall style bars with colorful exteriors. A corn based alcoholic drink with a long history called chicha is a popular pastime. Overall there are many types of international restaurants at student prices which can best be enjoyed at night.
Streets and Homes
The vibrant streets of Candelaria are interspersed with areas showing great reconstruction and revival. The local government has made great strides to update this district and the transformation can be seen in various streets and neighborhoods around La Candelaria.
Millitary Museum– The Colombian armed forces has a detailed collection of weapons, paraphernalia and maps, charts and documents with lots of material showcasing Colombia’s struggle for independence and conflicts down to the present era.
Casa de Moneda The mint was established on this site in 1620 and the present building dates from 1753. It is constructed with traditional materials including stone and adobe. Various traded goods and currencies and their history of value and importance is explained.
Museum of Santa Clara- There is a comprehensive collection of religious art including paintings by Gregorio Vázquez de Arce y Ceballos, and some detailed and handcrafted decor with coffered ceilings and lattice screens.
Housed in the former offices of the Archbishop, a colonial structure holds a significant amount of donated Botero works. The famous Colombian artist has been overseer of the project from its beginnings in 2000. The display is open every day except tuesdays and it is free to the public. A great way to see some of his classic and more recently released works.