(Plaza de Bolívar; h9am-5pm Tue-Sun) The main plaza’s dominating building, facing from the northeast corner, is this neoclassical cathedral which stands on the site where the fi rst Mass may have been celebrated after Bogotá had been founded in 1538 (some historians argue it happened at Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo, just east).
Either way, it’s Bogotá’s largest. The original simple thatched chapel was replaced by a more substantial building in 1556–65, which later collapsed due to poor foundations. In 1572 the third church went up, but the earthquake of 1785 reduced it to ruins. Only in 1807 was the massive building – that stands to this day – initiated and it was successfully completed by 1823. It was partially damaged during the Bogotazo riots in 1948. Unlike many Bogotá churches, the spacious interiors have relatively little ornamentation. The tomb of Jiménez de Quesada, the founder of Bogotá, is in the largest chapel off the right-hand aisle.