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Salt Cathedral Excursion, Colombia

For the beauty of its landscapes, the richness of its earth, and its jewel beneath the earth's surface, Zipaquirá is somewhat of a must during a stay in Bogotá. Travelling 30 miles north of the city, through countryside once occupied by native Muisca, Zipaquirá is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Colombia.

Zipaquirá is most famous for its Cathedral carved from the salt mines west of the town. Colombians will proudly tell you that the mountain in which the mines are situated could keep the world supplied with salt for more than one hundred years.

The mines have been expanding since the tenth century, and at the heart of them, you will find the Cathedral which was opened in 1954. The subtle lighting pronounces the fourteen Stations of the Cross, each station sculpted by a different artist. At the lowest point of the cross, 180m below the earths surface, are the nave and the north and south aisles dominated by the 16m high central cross. The illumination and execution of the work is a tribute to modern techniques and years of work from the miners to the artists.

The vast atrium which is 75 meters long and 18 meters high can accommodate 8400 people.

Around the central square of Zipaquirá the colonial buildings still hold their charm footed by brickwork paving and overlooked by the Cathedral Diocesana de San Antonio.

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