Colombia
Zipaquirá

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    • Day 5

      Zipaquira Salt Katedral

      September 8, 2022 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Dansk: Idag bestemte vi os får at tage en dagstur ud og se en berømt salt katedral. Den lå en i en anden by, Zipaquira, som er en times kørsel fra Bogotá. Vi har set masser af ture tilbudt til katedralen, men vi bestemte os for at gøre det selv istedet. Det betød så, at vi skulle med to bybusser ud til den busterminal, som bussen til Zipaquira kørte fra. Heldigvis da vi kom derud stod der en dame og råbte både navnet på byen og salt katedralen, så det var nemt. Vi blev bare sendt ind i bussen uden at betale, så vi måtte bare observere, hvad de andre gjorde. Man betalte åbenbart til chaufføren når man steg ud af bussen. Turen tog en time ca og vi fik set lidt af det colombianske landskab, der ikke bare var by. Da vi kom til Zipaquira kørte vi med helt til endestationen og så sagde chaufføren, vi skulle gå det sidste stykke for at komme til katedralen. Det viste sig at være nemt for det var bare “ligeud, ligeud, ligeud, ligeud”, ligesom en dame sagde, da vi spurgte hende om vej. Katedralen er bygget inde i en salt mine, og næsten alt er skåret ud af saltet. Indgangen til minen lå på toppen af en bakke/bjerg (det var nok mere en bakke, men med vores fitness niveau og højderne føltes det mere som at bestige et bjerg). På toppen købte vi billetter og fik givet en audioguide, så vi kunne lære lidt om katedralen. Den var bygget af minerne så de havde en kirke at gå til inde i minen. De havde bygget 14 stationer, der alle fortalte noget om Jesus sidste timer og død. Det var ret vildt for vi kom 180 meter ned under jorden, hvor de havde bygget forskellige kapeller, der faktisk blev holdt gudstjenester i om søndagen. Da vi havde set selve kirkedelen, ændrede minen sig til noget der mere mindede om er storcenter, hvor man kunne købe souvenirs, komme i spa og en cafe, som vi var nødt til at købe en kop kaffe og kakao hos for, hvornår kan man ellers drikke en kop kaffe/kakao 180 meter under jorden?
      Efter et par timer under jorden kom vi ud i lyset igen og fandt vores vej tilbage til Bogota efter en spændende og mærkelig dag.

      English: Today we had decided to do a day trip to see a famous salt cathedral. The cathedral was in another town called Zipaquira, which was about an hours drive from Bogotá. We have seen a lot of tours going to the cathedral but we decided to just go on our own. That meant two city buses to the bus station from where we could take a bus too Zipaquira. Luckily, when we got to the bus terminal there was a lady yelling both Zipaquira and about the salt cathedral, so it was very easy to find the bus. She just put us in the bus without us paying, so we were a little confused on how and when to pay. Once on the road, we saw the other passengers just payed the driver himself when they got off the bus. Simon thought it reminded him a lot of a South African taxi. We got driven to the end station in Zipaquira and then told to walk the last bit to get to the cathedral. It was very easy as it was just “straight, straight, straight, straight”, like a lady said when we asked her for directions. The cathedral itself is built inside a mine by the miners so the had somewhere to pray when they were inside the mines. To get to the entrance of the mine though, we had to climb a hill/mountain (it was probably more a hill but with our fitness level and the altitude it felt more like climbing a mountain). Once at the top we could buy tickets and we also got an audio guide, so we could learn more about the cathedral. They had built 14 stations that all told something about the last hours of Jesus life before he died. It was pretty wild because we went 180 metres underground and here they had also built different chapels that actually did do service every Sunday. After we had seen the church part the mine kind of transformed into more of a mall than a church. All of the sudden we could buy souvenirs, go to a spa and there was even a cafe. We ended up getting a cup of coffee and hot chocolate at the cafe, because when else can you drink coffee/chocolate 180 metres underground?
      After a couple of hours underground we went back out into the light and made our way back to Bogotá after an interesting and kind of weird day.
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    • Day 3

      Catedral de Sal

      June 11, 2023 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Heute hat der Papa der Familie mit uns einen Tagesausflug unternommen. Wir sind in eine Kathedrale in Zipaquirá (Catedral de Sal) gefahren, die in einer Salzmine in den Bergen liegt. Eine tolle Atmosphäre, eine interessante Ausstellung und natürlich tolle Bilder ⛰️Read more

    • Day 237

      Zipaquira

      August 10, 2022 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      After spending nearly 2 weeks on the Carribean coast we have finally headed inland and to higher altitudes for a cooler climate and to experience a different side of Colombia. It's just nice to be out of the humidity. We have hired a car to do a little road trip loop out of Bogotá, our first stop is the small town of Zipaquirá.

      A small town which has made its money from Salt since the pre-Columbian times and has repurposed itself as the a cute, laid back an artsy town welcoming tourists and students alike. We only stayed in town one night, leaving enough time to take in the number 1 tourist attraction in Colombia as voted for by Colombians, the Salt Cathedral (more on that tomorrow), but despite it being a fleeting visit we both really enjoyed our time here. It seems to have a lively restaurant and bar scene as well as having some cute little cafes and books shops. It is a little colder than we anticipated so the jeans and jumpers have made a reappearance and we even needed a blanket at night.
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    • Day 238

      Salt Cathedral

      August 11, 2022 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      There are only 3 underground salt cathedrals in the world, 2 in Poland and 1 in Colombia guess which one we've visited?

      To explain what we saw, our story starts millions of years ago, when the planet was dominated by dinosaurs... at that time most of Colombia was underwater. Then the surface of the earth changed creating mountains and heating up and evaporating the salty water, leaving a huge condensed salt dome which stretches for miles underground. It was the indigenous that found the salty properties of this area, by collecting water from the river, which flowed out from the salt dome, and cooking it in clay pots, evaporating the water, leaving just the salt. They used it as a show of wealth and created a town who's chief were called Zipa. Then the Spanish conquered the indigenous town and exploited the indigenous population to dig into the mountain and manually mine the salt. As our technology moved on so did the mining techniques employed at the Zipa salt mine, from manual tools, to dynamite, electric hand tools to large heavy machinery and finally high pressure water extraction.
      As the mine became larger and more workers were in involved in the process, in 1954 the first salt cathedral was built. Working in mines is dangerous so it was common for miners to create altars and that's how the idea took place. In the 70's this became a tourist attraction but the cathedral was unstable and it was unsafe as it was in an older part of the mine. This leads us to the requirement for a big project, led by the architect Carlos Enrique Rodriguez who decided to use the lower and newer tunnels of the mine to build the new cathedral. It opened 1995 and it is the one that is still visited now.

      To enter the cathedral we had to walk along a corridor that leads us through 14 small chapels representing the Station of the Cross (Jesus' last journey). The representations are very abstract and even listening to the audio guides thorough explanations, what we saw really was just a succession of crosses carved into the salt walls. It was quite impressive to see nonetheless and the lights and music added a church atmosphere. This path ends 180m below ground to the main cathedral nave, three hughe caverns that are interconnected with little passages which are still today used as sites of worship.

      As it has been voted the first maravilla (wonders) of Colombia this has also brought a full street of shops, cafes and even a spa underground. Very strange atmosphere!
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    • Day 46

      Bogotá Tag 2

      December 10, 2019 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Aufgrund des Streiks heute haben wir uns spontan entschieden zur Salzkathedrale zu fahren. Den Abend haben wir dann bei einem wunderschönen und leckeren Abendessen ausklingen lassen dürfen ( Danke @Stefannny)Read more

    • Day 25

      Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

      September 25, 2023 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      What I had in my mind when I saw we were going to a salt cathedral is the typical thought of a cathedral in a cave that we've all seen many times. It's really pretty and acoustics in a cave are great.

      But what I didn't expect was this place. It was a spiritual journey through the rise and fall of Jesus, thirteen chapters that were expertly designed and constructed through the use of the mine. No human figures were carved into the 13 chapters, instead the symbol of the cross was used to depict Jesus.

      This is a still active mine, extracting 40 tonnes of salt per day. The sheer scale and impressiveness of this site is impossible to convey in pictures. Not to mention it is 120m underground too.

      Then when you think you've seen everything, the place continues with a more commercial side of it. Cafes and shops built into these huge chasms of where the salt was extracted. And a beauty and massage room that comes highly recommended apparently. Using the fine salt to help soothe and revitalise you in an extremely gorgeous setting. (I should be in their payroll). On its own, the retail side of this place was impressive.

      Salt makes an incredible reflector. There is an area of water that is only 10cm deep but with 80% salt and the reflection of the pool was literally mirror finish.

      We've seen some impressive cathedrals on this trip. But nothing compares to this.
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    • Day 3

      Zipaquira

      April 25 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Etwas außerhalb von Bogotá liegt Zipaquira mit der berühmten Salzkathedrale. Knapp 200m unter der Erde wurde eine Kathedrale aus Stein und Salz herausgeschlagen. Einfach in einen Berg hinein. Sehr beeindruckend!
      Angeblich profitiert der Körper schon nach 30min von dem Salzgehalt in der Luft.

      Am meisten mochte ich den Kuppelsaal, dessen Decke aussieht wie ein kleines Universum. Während ich darunter stand, sah es aus als würde es sich bewegen 😍
      Und auch die Höhe in den letzten Räumen war beeindruckend. Das große Kreuz an der hinteren Wand ist 16m hoch, also dürfte die Deckenhöhe bei mindestens 25m liegen. Durch viele Lichtinstallationen wirkt das alles noch extremer.
      Der Kronleuchter besteht aus 1500 Salzperlen, die weiß bemalt wurden.
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    • Day 16

      Zipaquirá

      September 21, 2022 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      We went to see the underground cathedral made out of an old Salt Mine.

      The story goes that the miners took it upon themselves and built an altar deep in the mine, this being such a devout country, and it developed in to what you see below over a period of decades.

      You start by walking down the mine and out of each of the 14 mining sites, some of which are gigantic chambers from which many thousands of tons of salt has been pulled, they made a tribute to each of the 14 stations of the cross. Station 10 was particularly eerie with its recordings of choir voices appearing to come out of the void.

      They stated the aim was to create a sense of abstract art in the way the stations were created and how they pertain to the story of the crucifixion. Another I found particularly impactful was the negative space cross representing when Christ's body was taken down from the cross, representing the void left behind in his absence.

      At the bottom of the mine, some 600 feet below ground, are a tribute to the divine infant, and a massive, massive nave for the main cathedral hall.

      The cross at the back stands 16 meters high, back lit in the usual stunning colors, and it really is a sight to see. The entire walk through took about 2 hours.

      We've seem some incredible churches in our travels but I have to say this one really does stand out. The originality, the literal depth of the work to be done to create this are just jaw dropping.

      And yes, we tasted the salt off the wall, and it was - salty.
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    • Day 15

      Zipaquira hasta Suesca

      June 21, 2023 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Médiation et yoga, nous voilà parées pour la journée ! Nos sacs refaits nous les laissons à l'hôtel, le temps de partir visiter la cathédrale de sel.
      Nous remontons les petites rues et nous arrivons à l'entrée du parc. Le prix d'entrée est presque de 100 000 COD (+/-20€) pour les étrangers mais on arrive à négocier le prix pour les locaux 60 000 COD, ça nous convient mieux (les reines de la negoc') 👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏻 On rentre donc dans ce lieu majestueux. Une immense mine de sel exploitée depuis des centaines d'années et cette cathédrale de sel (la seconde, le première ayant été interdite d'accès pour la sécurité) construite dans les années 50. Les textures sont très belles et de beaux jeux de lumière sont réalisés. On y pense presque 3h. En ressortant, nous prenons un petit jus avant de récupérer nos affaires et de prendre le bus. Dans un premier temps nous nous arrêtons à Nemocón, petit village perdu. En attendant notre bus, nous sommes dans un petit café. Ou de voeux monsieurs discutent en buvant leur Andina (bière du coin). Un d'entre eux souhaite bien sur que nous le ramenions avec nous en France 😅
      Notre buseta arrive pour Suesca, la route est assez chaotique mais nous arrivons assez vite dans cette petite ville, aux plaines vertes parturées par des vaches et entourées de montagnes. Nous avons trouvé une petite auberge pour presque rien. Arrivées à l'hébergement, Ellyn se rends compte qu'elle a oublié son téléphone dans le bus. Elle file au terminal, ouf elle le retrouve ! A son retour elle travaille tandis que moi j'organise un peu la session escalade du lendemain et nos prochaines vadrouiller dont le parc du Cocuy qui demande une certaine logistique 🏔
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    • Day 5

      Die Salzkathedrale

      January 20 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Die touristische Hauptattraktion von Zipaquirá ist die Salzkathedrale, ein Untertagekomplex mit Schächten und einer geweihten Kirche, die den Leidensweg Christi darstellt.
      Licht und optische Effekte setzen alles entsprechend in Szene.
      Ein wichtiger Ort für die Gläubigen Kolumbianer. Mir war es "too much".
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Zipaquirá, Zipaquira, Сипакира, سیپاگیرا, სიპაკირა, 시파키라, 錫帕基拉

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