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Sunday, 6 January 2013


Bogotá, originally called Bacatá by the Muiscas, was the center of their civilization before the Spanish conquest, and sustained a large population.

The European urban settlement was founded in August 6, 1538, by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name.

The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, founder of the city

"Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the vice-royalty of New Granada, and the city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

Bogotá citizens declared independence from Spain on July 20, 1810 and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with Spanish military loyalists, who controlled the city until 1819, when Simón Bolívar captured the city after his victory at Boyacá.

Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When that republic was dissolved into its constituent parts, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia.

Bogotá in 1887

In August 2000 the capital's name was officially changed back from "Santa Fé de Bogotá" to the more usual "Bogotá".

Bogotá is the largest and most populous city in Colombia, and the fourth largest city in South America, with more than seven million residents.

Bogotá is the largest city in the world without a working passenger station.

Bogotá is located at an altitude of 2,640 m (8,660 ft) above sea level. The city is situated at the base of two mountains, Guadalupe and Montserrat. The high altitude has also given it the position of the third highest major city in the world.

The motto of the city is "2600 meters closer to the stars" (in reference its altitude above sea level).

The city average temperature is 14°C (57 °F), varyi ng from 9ºC (48°F) to 22ºC (71°F).

Bogotá houses the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro, the biggest theater festival in the world every two years.

Bogotá is also known as "La Atenas Suramericana," the South American Athens, given the locals' penchant for education and manners.

The city has institutionalized a day without cars on the streets, called "El Día sin Carro" (The Day without Cars). It takes place every first Thursday of February.


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