The first populations in Bogotá were the Muiscas, members of the Chibcha language family. When the conquerors arrived, there were about half a million indigenous people from this group. They occupied the highland and mild climate sides between the Sumapaz mountains to the southwest and Cocuy snowy peak to the northeast, covering an approximate area of 25,000 km², comprising Bogotá high plain, a portion of the current Boyacá department and a small part of Santander. The most fertile lands were ancient Pleistocene lake beds and regions irrigated by high Bogotá, Suárez, Chicamocha and some Meta affluent river beds.
The population was organized in two large federations in this area, each one commanded by a chief: the southwest area was dominated by the Zipa, which center was located in Bacatá, currently Bogotá. It was the strongest area occupying two fifths of the territory. The northeast zone was under the Zaque domain and its center was Hunza region, currently Tunja. However, unlike Tairona population, Muiscas did not develop large cities. Muiscas, farmer by nature, formed a disperse population occupying several small villages and hamlets. Besides, there were also some free isolated tribes: Iraca or Sugamuxi, Tundama and Guanentá. Their inhabitants’ main occupation was agriculture complemented by hunting and fishing. They basically cultivated corn and potatoes, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, “cubios”, yucca, tobacco, “arracacha”, sweet potatoes and some other fruit and vegetables. In the mining field, the salt and emeralds extraction was fundamental for their own use and for trading with other tribes for gold and cotton.
Myths and beliefs
Chía was the Zipa’s ceremonial center, a place used to worship the Moon, while the Zaque’s ceremonial center was Sogamoso, where the Sun temple was located. Apparently, the main function of Muisca priests was astronomic observation. Evidence of that are the numerous archaeological monuments in the shape of stone columns such as the Devil’s Cushions (Cojines del Diablo), two large discs sculpted high up in the rock within Tunja’s urban perimeter, which were probably solar observation sites. In Saquenzipa, ceremonial center near Villa de Leyva, there are about 25 large cylindrical columns aligned to the east-west stand: from this place, on the summer solstice, the sun rises exactly over the Iguaque lake where, according to the legend, the Bachué goddess emerged.
Bochica, the civilizing Muisca God, taught them manual arts, gave them moral standards and subsequently saved them from the savanna flood by breaking a rock and letting the water flow to form the Tequendama falls (Salto de Tequendama). For them, the goddess Chía was the moon and the god Zuhé was the sun, among other astral gods. For the Muiscas, lakes were sacred places where they had their ceremonies. In their most important myths and legends they talk about Guatavita, Siecha, Tota, Fúquene and Iguaque lakes were gold and pottery offerings have been found. They also worshiped the dead: nobles and chiefs were mummified and buried with all their belongings.
Goldsmith and Pottery
Although Muiscas had no gold, they obtained it by trading it with other tribes. They manufactured diverse pieces; the most outstanding are “tunjos”, small anthropomorphic or zoomorphic figures they offered their gods. Among the diverse techniques they used to manufacture these pieces are: lost wax process, hammering and embossed. Gold objects were used for funerary and sacred offerings. They also made necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pectorals, nose rings and other pieces as ornaments for themselves. The Gold Museum and other private collection museums still preserve some of these pieces. They were outstanding at weaving and pottery.
Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada Expedition
Since 1533, there was a belief among the Spanish conquerors that the Río Grande de la Magdalena was the trail to the South Sea, to Peru and especially to the legendary El Dorado. Finding El Dorado was the target set by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, the conqueror that left Santa Marta on April 6, 1536 with 500 soldiers heading towards the interior of the current Colombia.
The expedition was divided into two groups, the first, under Quesada’s command, would move by land, and the other, commanded by Diego de Urbino, would go up the river in four brigantine ships set to later meet Quesada’s troops at the site named Tora de las Barrancas Bermejas.
After arriving, they heard about Indians who inhabited the south and who also made large salt breads that were used to trade for wild cotton and fish. Jimenez decided to abandon the route to Peru and crossed the mountain in search of the “salt villages.” They found crops, trails, white salt breads and then huts where they found corn, yucca, potatoes and beans.
From Tora, the expedition went up the Opón River and found Indians covered with very fine painted cotton cloaks. When they arrived to the Grita Valley, only 70 of the 500 men who left Santa Marta were left.
In their journey they took large amounts of gold and emeralds. They captured the Zaque Quemuenchatocha at Hunza and headed towards Sogamoso, where they plundered and set the Sun temple on fire.
On March 22, 1537, they arrived at a place they named “Valle de los Alcázares” from the north, by crossing the salt villages of Nemocón and Zipaquirá. Being in Chibcha territory, they found good paths to head towards southwest. They crossed through several villages, among them Lenguazaque and Suesca.
They continued through Cajicá, Chía and Suba, the beginning of the Bogotá Kingdom, where they fought against Indians commanded by the Bogotá Chief, who tried to prevent them from entering Zipa Tisquesusa’s capital town Muequetá or Bacatá, a fenced ranch village built on a swampy ravine on the right margin of the Tisquesusa River.
Foundation of Bogotá
Following the conquerors’ slogan “to found and to populate”, Quesada decided to build an urban settlement and establish a stable government. Towards the east, they found an Indian village named Teusaquillo near the Zipa’s recreation residence, with water, wood, land and protected from winds by the Monserrate and Guadalupe hills.
Although no document recording the city’s foundation has been found, August 6, 1538 is accepted as Bogotá’s foundation date. According to the tradition, that day Priest Fray Domingo de las Casas said the first mass in a hut church built near the current cathedral or near the Santander Park. It is said that the region was named “New Kingdom of Granada” that day and the village was named Santa Fe.
The city was designed in a grid pattern and since that time the one hundred meters per block side prevails. Traverse streets (East–West) were 7 meters wide and current carreras (North-South) are 10 meters wide. In 1553, the Main Plaza (currently called “Plaza Bolívar”) was moved to its current site and the construction of the first cathedral side began on the Eastern. The Chapter and the Royal Hearing premises were located on the other corners of the city. The street that connected the Major Plaza and Herbs Plaza (currently known as Santander park) was named “Calle Real” (Royal Street), and it is now called “Carrera Séptima” (Seventh Carrera).
Population of Santa Fe
Santa Fe’s population consisted of white people, mestizo people (people with mixed race parents, mainly white father and Indian mother or vice versa), Indians, and slaves; from the second half of the 16th century the population began growing quite rapidly. The census of 1789 recorded 18,161 inhabitants and, by 1819, the city population amounted 30,000 inhabitants distributed in 195 city blocks. The city became more important when the diocese was created. Until 1585, the only parish was the Cathedral; later on Las Nieves parish and Santa Bárbara parish were created to the North and to the south of the Main Plaza correspondingly.
Government and Administration
The city’s government was lead by the City Mayor and the Town Council (Cabildo), which comprised the aldermen assisted by the Sheriff or the Police Chief. Aiming to achieve a better administration of these domains, the Audience of Santafé de Bogotá was organized in April, 1550, which was where the Hearers to acted. Since then, the city became the country’s capital and home of New Kingdom of Granada’s government. Fourteen years later, in 1564, the Spanish Crown designated the first Royal Audience Chairman, Andrés Díaz Venero de Leyva. The New Granada became a Viceroy-ship in 1739 and the city was governed as it until Liberator Simón Bolívar lead the independence in 1819.
After dominating indigenous populations through war, the conquest by religion began, assisted by religious communities established in the entire Colombian territory from the 16th century. Churches and convents were built for the Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustine communities; and later on, in 1604, Jesuits, Capuchin monks, and Clarisse, Dominican and Barefooted Carmelite nuns build their temples.
Such communities marked the spirit and customs of Santafereños (people native from Santa Fe), since they exercised a strong ideological, political and cultural influence, which was only slightly reduced in 1767 when Carlos III ordered the expulsion of Jesuits from Spanish colonies in America.
As in the rest of Spanish-colonized America, religious communities were fundamental in the field of education, which by order of the Crown took place in churches and convents. The first two universities were established by Dominican monks (1563 and 1573). In 1592, the San Bartolomé Seminar School was founded to provide higher education to Spanish children; Jesuits ruled the school, and in 1605 they also founded the Maximum School located in one of the Major Plaza corners.
In 1580, the Dominicans founded Pontificia Univesidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino first as an Arts and Philosophy school, and in 1621 the Jesuits established the San Francisco Javier or Javeriana University. In 1653, Fray Cristóbal de Torres founded the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. The first educational community and the first school for women were founded in 1783 in New Granada: La Enseñanza school, which was ruled by the community of María. From that time, school lessons for women started, a right that up to then was only for men.
Two trends could be identified during the colonial centuries, their common source was religious topics: the culta (educated), which was highly influenced by 17th-century metropolitan painting and had outstanding representatives in the Santa Fe school such as Baltasar de Figueroa, who was the head of a painters dynasty and created and maintained the school where Gregorio Vázquez de Arce y Ceballos (1638–1711) studied, who was perhaps the most outstanding artist of the time; and the popular, comprised by more ingenuous painters who were free of influences of the time, and who did not belong to any school. They interpreted biblical scenes, the life of saints and life episodes of the Christ and the Virgin in carved wood or paints but in a considerably free style.
Wood carving was highly positioned within plastic art production of the time and its maximum expression is found in pieces of wood adorning most Colombian churches, for instance San Francisco church main alter wood work, which was mainly carved by Ignacio García de Ascucha.
Pedro Laboria, a Spaniard that studied in Seville art workshops and came to Bogotá when he was very young and lived here the rest of his life is one of the most outstanding sculptors.
The French influence that dominated Spain during the 18th century when the Borbon dynasty took the throne, also characterized the artistic trends of the American colonies. By the middle of the century, painting and decoration secularized in American colonies and French style marked the taste of the government society, the high Creole bourgeoisie and the higher church hierarchy. Religious themes lead to portraits of people. The most famous painter of the time was Joaquín Gutiérrez, who portrayed Viceroys.
The most important contribution to American nature science at that time was the Botanic Expedition, its objective consisted in studying native flora. It was started by orders from Archbishop-Viceroy Caballero y Góngora and it was directed by José Celestino Mutis, and scientists as prominent as Francisco José de Caldas, Jorge Tadeo Lozano and Francisco Antonio Zea also contributed to such endeavor. It was first established in Mariquita, but in 1791 it was subsequently transferred to Santa Fe, where it was operated until 1816.
The brilliant dratfsmen who contributed to this project produced a series of precious carefully drawn illustrations as evidence of the conducted research. They were Francisco Javier Matiz and Pablo Antonio García.
The political uneasiness lived all over the Spanish colonies in America was expressed in New Granada in many different ways, accelerating the independence process. One of the most transcendent events was the Comuneros Revolution, a civil riot started in Villa del Socorro —current State of Santander—in March 1781. Spanish authorities refrained the riot and José Antonio Galán, its leader, was executed. However, he left an legacy continued in 1794 by Antonio Nariño, who became precursor of independence by translating and publishing the Rights of Man and the Citizen in Santafé, and by the leaders of the “July 20” movement in 1810. The declaration of independence occurred after an apparently slight dispute between Creole and Spanish people over the loan of a flowerpot, which became popular upraise.
The lapse of time between 1810 and 1815 is known as “Patria Boba” (Silly Homeland) because during those years Creole people fought among themselves in search for ideal government methods, the first ideological struggles occurred, and the first two republican political parties (federalists and centralists) were created.
Time of Terror and Independence
The Pacifying Expedition commanded by Pablo Morillo arrived in New Granada in 1815, pretending to conquer the rebel colony. This event lead to repression times that lasted until 1819. New Granada went through the Independence War period, during which notable personalities lost their life, but it ended with the triumphal liberator campaign commanded by Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander, who fought the Vargas Swamp Battle and the Battle of Boyacá (1819), which were decisive for achieving independence.
The Great Colombia
In 1819, the Liberator created Gran Colombia (Great Colombia), a national state constituted by Venezuela, New Granada and Quito, but it was dissolved years later in 1830, the same year Simón Bolívar died in Santa Marta.
Mid Century Revolution
No fundamental structure change from the inherited colonial phase occurred between 1819 and 1849. It was by middle of the 19th century when a series of fundamental reforms took place, some of the most important being slavery abolition and religious, teaching, print and speech, industrial and trading freedom, among many other.
During the decade of the 70s, Radicalism accentuated reforms and the concept of State, the perception of society and institutions was substantially modified. However, during the second half of the century, the country faced permanent “pronouncements,” fights between States and fractions, and civil wars: the last and bloodiest was the One Thousand Days War that occurred between 1899 and 1902.
Nineteenth Century Educational System
After achieving independence in Bogotá, the city continued to enjoy the privilege of being the main educational and cultural center of the new nation.
In 1823, a few years after the creation of the Great Colombia, the Public Library (now National Library) was expanded and modernized with new books and better facilities. Also, the National Museum was founded.
Those institutions were significantly important for the cultural development of the new republic. From the middle of the century, education secularization and expansion widened the academic possibilities. The Central University was the first state school, which was the precursor of the current National University. It was founded in 1867 and it was located in Bogotá.
Between 1850 and 1859, the first effort to research the history, geography, cartography, economy, society and cultures of the different regions of the country was carried out by the Geographic Commission, which was directed by Italian Agustín Codazzi. The graphic and documentary experience achieved by the Commission was greatly transcendent and complemented the work of Botanic Expedition.
Commission draftsmen were miniaturists, portraitists and landscapers who travelled all across the country and portrayed human types, labors, working methods, technical resources, garments, customs and geographic aspects. Commission documents are kept at the General Archive of the Nation.
Travelers and Painters of Customs
During the first half of the Nineteenth century, the first republican travelers and other visitors that were fascinated by nature, people and customs left large aquarelle drawing collections witnessing works, garments, customs, transportation methods, festivities and life styles that they observed around them.
Around the same time, other travelers and literates illustrated the same topics under written texts such as “Los bogas del río Magdalena” (Magdalena River paddlers) by Rufino José Cuervo in 1840, as well as many diaries and travel books. The most prominent travelers were Walhous Mark (1817–1895), whose excellent aquarelles constitute valuable testimony of Colombia at that time; Alfredo J. Gustin, César Sighinolfi, León Gautier, Luis Ramelli, among many other. Some of them stayed in the country and founded schools and art academies to communicate their technical and artistic knowledge.
Mexican Santiago Felipe Gutiérrez was the most influential foreign artist at the time. He founded Gutiérrez Academy in 1881, which became the National University School of Fine Arts.
Alberto Urdaneta invited Spaniard Antonio Rodríguez to come to the country to manage the engraving school, which was established in 1881 in Bogotá. The illustrators of the Illustrated Newspaper (1881–1886) studied in that school. The newspaper was a publication founded and directed by Urdaneta. The work of the Illustrated Newspaper contributors has a great documentary value.
Although not many foreign immigrants settled in Bogotá, according to several censuses carried out during the Nineteenth century, the population grew quite steadily: the census of 1832 recorded 36,465 inhabitants; in 1881, 84,723 inhabitants, and by the end of the century the total was nearly 100,000. Population growth from 1850 was partially due to Mid Century reforms, which increased the sources of work. Bogotá offered work possibilities in the trade sector, as well as in other diverse areas. Such population growth lead to a physical expansion of the city towards the north, creating new neighborhoods up to the Chapinero village, five kilometers away from the city center.
Cultural Life in the City
Bogotá was quite an isolated city, since it lacked of appropriate paths and roads to connect it with other regions and settlements. Only by the end of the century such isolation was broken thanks to the railroad and to some roads communicating the city and the Magdalena river, and through the river the city was connected to the Caribbean coast.
During the decade of the 70s, writers of varied trends grouped around Mosaico magazine, which was founded and directed by José María Vergara y Vergara, to make one of the first efforts to record Colombian literature history, and to consolidate the cultural identity of the country.
The city’s cultural life was focused on literary gatherings, which during the Nineteenth century allowed Bogotanians to share their literary and political concerns and to attend musical and theater shows. The Maldonado Theater featured theatrical and opera shows, and by the end of the Nineteenth century, Bogotá had two important theatres: Cristóbal Colón Theater, opened in 1892; and the Municipal Theatre, opened in 1895, which featured zarzuela (operetta) and musical shows. The city was also the scenario for important Colombian history events during the decades of the 30s and 40s.
During the Nineteenth century, despite constant riots and civil wars altering normal new republic development, Bogotá preserved traditions and customs that dated back to colonial times, combined with some European influence. Certain foods and beverages became traditional at meetings and gatherings: chocolate served at night accompanied of home made cookies and candy, and “ajiaco” became the traditional dish. Local composers music was played in the piano at night gatherings, and people danced pasillo in larger parties, which is a type of rapid waltz, so called due to the short dancing steps.
The National School of Fine Arts was founded in 1886, which definitely boosted the artistic development in the city. Alberto Urdaneta was its first director. Painters Epifanio Garay and Ricardo Acevedo Bernal, school professors, were important portraitists, but the most outstanding artist at that time was painter Andrés de Santamaría (1860–1945), who greatly renewed painting in Colombia with his work. He was the director of the School of Fine Arts in two occasions and his work, associated to impressionism, is the most important of that time. The most famous representatives of the landscaping trend were Roberto Páramo, Jesús María Zamora, Eugenio Peña, Luis Núñez Borda and Ricardo Gómez Campuzano, painters whose work is preserved in the permanent National Museum collection.
José Asunción Silva (1865–1896), one of the most important pioneers of Modernism in the Spanish speaking world was born in Bogotá. His poetic work and his novel called “De sobremesa” gave him an outstanding place in American literature. Rafael Pombo (1833–1912) was an outstanding American romanticism poet, who left a collection of fables that are an essential part of children literature and Colombian tradition.
The North railroad project to connect Bogotá and the Carare river (affluent of the Magdalena river) dates back to the radicalism times, but only started shaping when the first railroad section to Girardot was built under a government contract with Francisco Javier Cisneros in 1881; its first section joined the Magdalena river port and Tocaima. The railroad reached Anapoima in 1898, and in 1908 Bogotá and Facatativá were connected by railroad. From that time, Bogotanians were able to mobilize to the Magdalena river by train. The Bogotá-Chapinero-Puente del Común section was opened in 1894, the Cajicá route started operating in 1896 and the Zipaquirá section in 1898. After completing the rail tracks to Soacha and Sibaté at the end of the Nineteenth century, Bogotá’s savannah had one hundred kilometers of railroads.
The first telephone line in Bogotá connected the National Palace with the city mail and telegraph offices on September 21, 1881. And on August 14, 1884, the municipality of Bogotá granted Cuban citizen José Raimundo Martínez the privilege to install public telephone services in the city. In December the same year, the first telephone was installed in the offices of Messrs. González Benito Hermanos connecting to another telephone in Chapinero.
The first tramway pulled by mules started operating on December 25, 1884; it covered the route from Plaza de Bolívar to Chapinero, and the line that connected Plaza de Bolívar and La Sabana Train Station started operating in 1892. The tramway rolled over wood rails but since it easily derailed, steel rails were imported from England and installed. In 1894, one tramway car ran the Bogotá-Chapinero line every twenty minutes. The tramway operated until 1948, and it was then replaced by buses.
President Rafael Núñez declared the end to Federalism and, in 1886, the country became a centralist Republic ruled by the Constitution in force (along with some amendments) up to 1991. Even with some political and administrative ups and downs, Bogotá continued to be the capital and main political center of the country.
Early in the twentieth century, Colombia had to face the devastating consequences of the One Thousand Days War, which started in 1899 and ended in 1902, as well as the loss of Panama. Between 1904 and 1909, the liberal party legality was reestablished and President Rafael Reyes endeavored to implement a national government. Peace and State reorganization generated an increase in the economic activity. Bogotá started deep architectural and urban transformation with a significant increase in industrial and crafts production. The Industrial Exposition of the Century took place at the Park of Independence in 1910. The built pavilions evidenced the achieved industrial, craftwork, fine arts, electricity and machinery progress.
The period of time from 1910 to 1930 is known as the conservative hegemony. Hard struggles between unions and oil companies, as well as banana production company workers strikes occurred between 1924 and 1928, leading to numerous people being killed.There was practically no industry activity in Bogotá. The city’s production was mainly craftwork, this activity was concentrated in specific places, as it also happened with the commercial sectors. Plaza de Bolívar and its surroundings lodged hat stores, luxurious stores selling imported products opened their doors at Calle del Comercio (Commerce Street, currently known as Carrera Séptima) and Calle Florián (now Carrera Octava); at Pasaje Hernández, tailor shops provided their services; and between 1870 and 1883, four main banks started operating: Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Colombia, Banco Popular and the Mortgage Credit bank. Bavaria brewery, established in 1889, was of one the major industries.
In 1923, the United States paid the Colombian government the first installment associated to the agreed 25 million dollars indemnification for their intervention in the separation of Panama, bringing prosperity which was reflected by an increase in exports, higher foreign investment and higher infrastructure development; many roads were built, industry activity increased, public expense grew and urban economy expanded.
The Liberal Republic
After the killing in the banana production zone and the division of the conservative party, Enrique Olaya Herrera took office in 1930. The liberal party reformed, during 16 years of the so called Liberal Republic, the agricultural, social, political, labor, educational, economic and administrative sectors. Union movements strengthened and education coverage expanded. In 1938, the fourth centenary of the foundation of Bogotá, which population had reached 333,312 inhabitants, was celebrated. The celebration of such event produced a large number of infrastructure works, as well as new constructions and work sources.
Following the division of the liberal party in 1946, a conservative candidate took again the presidential office in 1948; and after the assassination of the liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Bogotá downtown was practically destroyed and the violence increased. From that date, the city went through fundamental changes in its urban, architectural and population image.
City Life in the Twentieth Century
During the twentieth century, Bogotá’s cultural life transformation accelerated, partially due to the new communication media. Newspapers, domestic and foreign magazines, the cinema, as well as radio, telegraph and telephone communications multiplied, and plane transportation linked Bogotá to the rest of the world. Migration waves of peasants and farmers running away from violence and the people that came to Bogotá looking for work and better opportunities tripled the population, which went from 700,000 in 1951 to 1,600,000 in 1964, and 2,500,000 inhabitants in 1973. The city modernized, and expanded its work fields, the economic offer in the industries, finances, construction and education. During the dictatorship of General Rojas Pinilla (1953 to 1957), television arrived in Colombia and construction projects such as El Dorado airport (which replaced ancient Techo airport) were completed, dynamizing the city’s urban development and a large amount of neighborhoods development to the West with the avenue that connects the airport to the city as the main progress factor. The North Main Road also helped in the expansion of urban development to the North of the city. The Official Administrative Center project was started and it was subsequently completed to establish the National Administrative Center (abbreviated CAN in Spanish).
Bogotá, Special District and Capital District
In 1954, the municipalities of Usme, Bosa, Fontibón, Engativá, Suba and Usaquén were annexed Bogotá, the Special District of Bogotá was created focusing towards future growth; and the new city administration was organized. In 1991, under the new Constitution, Bogotá became the Capital District. According to the census of 1985, Bogotá’s population had increased to 4,100,000; and by 1993, the population reached nearly 6,000,000 people.
The economy of the city has greatly developed and diversified through the years. Industrial production became substantial, requiring specialized industrial areas development. Crafts production became one of the most appreciated ornamental and utilitarian expressions and a source of income for family businesses.
The fact that commercial activities are in constant growth and business, financial and banking centers have made that Bogotá continues to be the economic core of the country and a privileged place for business in the Andean Zone market, as well as with the United States and several European and Asian countries.
Bogotá’s savannah has become a center for the production of flowers, which are exported to many countries, generating foreign currency flow and a work source that demands a high level of labor. Informal economy and micro-enterprises cover a large sector of the population in diverse activities.
Profound development in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, literature and education began in 1950. Nowadays, universities offer different undergraduate and specialization programs in arts. The schools of philosophy, literature, history, humanities and social sciences are training internationally successful professors, researchers, scientists, writers, musicians and filmmakers at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels programs.
University education is one of the most important aspects of the city. University population is calculated to be 16% of Bogotá’s total population.
The following are the most important universities located in Bogotá that offer various undergraduate, specialization, masters and postgraduate programs: National University, Los Andes University (founded in 1948), Javeriana, El Rosario, Santo Tomás (which were founded during the Colony) and Libre, Externado, Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Pedagógica, La Sabana, Sergio Arboleda and Católica universities. The Caro y Cuervo Institute develops extremely important activities regarding the Spanish language.
Currently, Bogotá is a modern metropolis with a population of nearly seven million, covering approximately 330 square kilometers (more than 127 square miles).
Due to the technical advances of big cities, and the substantial transformation in the past eight years, Bogotá is now a friendly and lovely city that offers a rich and varied cultural life. Bogotá is a city that provides any modern life services and comfort required, without giving up many of its colonial time customs that were preserved in traditional neighborhoods.