Earlier today I visited a market and a nature preserve near Bogota. Now I am heading to a salt cathedral. The Catedral de Sal in Zipaquirá near Bogota is a marvel to see. The cathedral is built on a site that was once a salt mine. Building a church there wasn’t so far fetched since the original mine did have a sanctuary where miners would go for their prayers before work. Eventually the mine was turned into a church. Structural problems led it to close for many years. After being rebuilt the church opened again in 1995. As of the time of my visit it is said it is having structural problems once more and will close again within 5 years. I feel lucky I am able to visit when I did.
After my tour guide provides me my audio tour and entrance pass I walk inside, 180 meters underground.
I head into tunnels that are lit with colorful lights. One tunnel projects flags of different countries on the ceiling.
After the tunnels I reach a series of nooks that represent the different stations of the cross. Some are accompanied by beautiful lights and music.
I reach an overhang that overlooks the main cathedral below.
I head down the stairs and around the corner to access the church.
There is a corridor that connects the three main parts of the church. It has artwork and beautiful chandeliers.
As I walk into the church Ave Maria plays and the colors change. I feel like I am witnessing magic happen. I am not spiritual at all but I feel like I am having a spiritual experience.
Down the hall from the church there are a couple other exhibits. Since I am there almost at closing time I end up missing out on the movie presentation but I do walk through a mining exhibit where they talk about emerald mining.
Some more beautiful lights.
The park closes so I head back out to find my driver.
He takes me through the nearby town but it is after dark so we do not stop.
As we head back to my hotel in Bogota my driver tries to sell me another tour for tomorrow since it is no car day in the city (tourist drivers have an exception). Wanting to explore the city on my own I turn down his offer. I am impressed that an international city like Bogota can organize a car free day to help the environment.
Today’s tour is expensive but I feel like it was money well spent. Loving Colombia already!