In La Candelaria

Edificio Liévano Edificio Liévano

Closed to the public) On the western side of the plaza, this French-style building is now home to the alcaldía (mayor’s office). The building was erected between 1902 and 1905.

Palacio de San Carlos: Calle 10 No 5-51) This massive edifice has seen a few lives, notably as the presidential HQ of Simón Bolívar, who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt here in 1828 when his friend-with-privileges Manuelita Sáenz tipped him off and became known in Bogotá circles as ‘the liberator of the liberator.’ A (dramatically worded) sign in Latin under his window (to the right) retells it.

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Iglesia de San Ignacio Iglesia de San Ignacio

(Calle 10 No 6-35) The Jesuits began this iconic church in 1610 and, although opened for worship in 1635, it was not completed until their expulsion in 1767. It was the largest church during colonial times and perhaps the most magnifi cent. It’s undergoing a long-winded renovation. Hopefully when it reopens visitors should be able to see one of the city’s most richly decorated churches.

4.0/5 rating (4 votes)

Iglesia Museo de Santa Clara Iglesia Museo de Santa Clara

(Carrera8 No 8-91; adult/student/child COP$3000/2000/500; h9am-5pm Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat & Sun) This church facing the palace from the west (on Carrera 8) is one of Bogotá’s most richly decorated (and one of the city’s oldest, along with Iglesia de San Francisco) and is now run by the government as a museum. Considering all the other same-era churches that can be seen for free, many visitors pass on this one, but it is a stunner. Built between 1629 and 1674, the single-nave construction features a barrel vault coated in golden fl oral motifs looking down over walls entirely covered in paintings (98 not including the closed-off loft, by our count) and statues of saints.

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)

Museo Botero Museo Botero

(Calle 11 No 4-41; admission free; h9am-7pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun) Set over two floors pasta fountain-filled courtyard and small store of Botero-themed wares you’ll find the location’s highlight. At the front of the building there are several halls dedicated to all things chubby: hands, oranges, women, mustached men, children, birds, violins, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) leaders – all, of course, the robust paintings and sculptures of Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero. (Botero himself donated these works.) The collection also includes several works by Picasso, Chagall, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro and Miró, and hilarious sculptures by Dalí and Max Ernst.

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)

Museo de Arte Colonial Museo de Arte Colonial

Carrera 6 No 9-77; adult/student COP$3000/2000; h9am-5pm Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat & Sun) Occupies a one-time Jesuit college and does a nice job of tracing the evolution of how religious and portrait art pieces are made, particularly by Colombia’s favourite baroque artist, Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos (1638–1711). Its upstairs exhibits begin with a messy gallery space (eg trial sketches on walls) and lead into a hall with sketch pieces and a couple of dozen (finished) Vásquez works from the museum’s collection of nearly 200 by the artist. Downstairs exhibits focus on religious artifacts.

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Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica

www.banrepcultural.org/museodearte.htm; Calle 11 No 4-21; h9am-7pm Mon & Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun) Past a wall fountain and cafe. It shows changing exhibits, and its auditorium hosts many free events.

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)
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