Bogota, Colombia History

By | December 14, 2021

Colombia is a country located in the northwestern part of South America, constitutionally organized as a decentralized unitary republic. Its capital is Bogotá DC Its surface area is 2,070,408 km 2, of which 1,141,748 km 2 correspond to its continental territory and the remaining 928,660 km2 to its maritime extension, of which it maintains border disputes with Venezuela and Nicaragua. It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Peru and Ecuador and to the northwest by Panama. Colombia is the only nation in South America which has coasts in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, in which it has several islands such as the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Colombia is recognized worldwide for the production of soft coffee, flowers, emeralds, coal and oil and its cultural diversity. Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia according to simplyyellowpages.

Pre-Columbian populations: the Muisca

Since 10,500 a. C., human groups inhabited the area with hunting and gathering activities. Since 3500 a. C., horticultural activities, pottery and the domestication of the curi by groups that still depended on hunting and gathering are already recorded. In 500 a. C., the cultivation of corn and potatoes was already very widespread. Around the year 800 of the current era, the Muiscas (the most important indigenous people of the Chibcha family) inhabited the area, as a result of a migration of Chibcha origin, from another territory (probably from Central America), which had mixed with the previous population.

The Muisca culture lacked writing, therefore, the chroniclers reconstructed the aboriginal history collecting the facts through oral accounts that date back to the year 1470, when Bogotá was ruled by the Zipa Saguanmachica. At the top of the scale of the Muisca social organization was the absolute monarch (Zipa), followed by the religious stratum of the sheiks and mohanes. Then there were the warriors or güechas, followed by artisans, merchants, peasants, etc.

It is believed that the Muiscas were able to practice human sacrifices on young virgins captured in war or bought from other tribes. However, there is no solid or verifiable evidence of this. They also created a highly precise calendar and a complex legal structure, known as the “Nemequene Code.” On the other hand, the Muisca buildings were built with perishable materials that prevented them from remaining standing after the arrival of the European conquerors.

It is worth noting that it is still possible to identify indigenous traits in the Bogota population, although due to the strong migration and the fact that Bogota receives people from all over the country, the Bogotano phenotype has been changing, being able to find people with a great variety of tonalities in how much skin, hair and eyes, which makes it a multiracial city.

Colonial stage

It was founded on 6 of August of 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada who fought with the Chibcha Indians near Bacatá, center populous tribe. The Viceroyalty of New Granada was established in this new city in 1717. In 1819, Simón Bolívar seized it and designated it as the capital of La Gran Colombia (currently Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela). It was also the capital of La Nueva Granada (present-day Colombia) when Gran Colombia was dissolved in 1830.

The city grew slowly because the Bogota citizens or “cachacos” wanted to preserve their ancient culture. They loved their city very much and took care of its churches, convents and houses built in the Spanish colonial style and its educational centers such as the Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé (1604), the Colegio Santo Tomás, (1608) which became the Universidad Santo Tomás (1639) and the Colegio Mayor del Rosario (1653) among others. Bogotá has long been called “South American Athens.” Bogotans pride themselves on speaking the best and purest Spanish in the New World.

Bogotá expanded rapidly after 1940, due to the immigration of the rural population who came to the city in search of better economic opportunities. Currently, Bogotá is the largest financial, political and cultural center in Colombia. It is also the largest educational center with its famous universities such as the Universidad de los Andes, the Javeriana, the Nacional, El Rosario, the Julio Garavito School of Engineering, etc.

Today, Bogotá is a cosmopolitan city in constant expansion. It is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas, not only in Colombia but in South America. Its six million residents, including multitudes of immigrants from all over the world, make the capital a true “microcosm” of the nation.

It has a wide variety of industries such as automotive vehicle assembly, food processing, printing and publishing houses, manufacturing of beverages, textiles, metal articles, machinery, electrical equipment, etc. Many banks and corporations maintain their main house in Bogotá. Railroads and highways, including the Pan-American highway, connect the city with other major centers.

Bogotá, Capital District, includes the city and its surroundings (metropolitan area). The closest towns are Bosa, Engartivá, Fontibón, Suba and Usme. Usaquén has been part of the capital district since 1991.

Bogotá offers both residents and visitors everything that a modern city can offer: a vibrant and diverse cultural and intellectual life and a huge selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs with a wide variety of food and entertainment. This picturesque city, known for its colonial architecture, its collection of pre-Columbian art made of gold, its splendid colonial churches and its magnificent museums, is also a city of futuristic architecture, with gigantic buildings and very modern constructions. It is also a city of “gamines” like the children in Dickens’ tales, beggars, shack neighborhoods, and heavy traffic jams. This incredible mix of prosperity and poverty, of Maseratis and mules, make Bogotá one of the most chaotic, fascinating and aggressive metropolis of the world. Tourists who visit it fall in love with it and want to stay there forever.

Bogota, Colombia History