Didem Doğan

Bogota: La Candelaria, a day in the old town

The historical centre of Bogota, La Candelaria, is a place that looks like time stands still since the 16th century! Cobble stone streets, one floor houses painted in lively colours, a well preserved place where you’ll find museums, book stores, squares, parks, cafés, street performers, musicians. 

You may start your walk at the Bolivar Square, a big square surrounded by the Cathedral, the Palace of Justice and the Parliament. If you take the road at the corner that leads to the Presidential Palace and walk you will see on your left the Colon Theatre, an elegant opera house. Just across the theatre is the San Carlos Palace. Take the road to the left and as you reach to the end of the road at the crossroads is the Botero Museum. There is a public library at the opposite side, the Luis Angel Arango Library has quite rooms for you to enjoy books and spend some time on your own. If you walk down on the road …. you will see the Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the corner, with a Juan Valdez coffee shop looking at the street. Continue on the same road on the Calle 11 is the oldest restaurant in town, La Puerta Falsa. This road again will take you to the Bolivar Square. 

This time walking on the main road Calle 7 (still a pedestrian road) you will reach to the Gaitan corner of historical significance, it is where the political leader was assassinated. Continue walking and you'll reach the oldest church in town, the San Francisco Church is from the 16th century, we recommend you to go inside. Right across the church is the Santander Park and behind it the Gold Museum, maybe the most important tourist attraction in town, where you will see a very rich collection of pieces from various pre-columbus cultures (read our detailed story). The road on the right hand side of the museum takes you to the Square of Journalists. It is the meeting of the graffiti tours of Bogota.

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