Are you planning to spend your holidays in Bogota? If so, the bustling capital of Colombia is a fabulous destination with a vast array of attractions and activities. After admiring local attractions like beautiful squares and interesting museums, we encourage you to visit Zipaquira. Zipaquira is home to a unique attraction, a church built underground, The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. Check out all its details on this post.
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, “ The First Wonder of Colombia”.
Zipaquira is a small-town location, just over an hour from Bogota. This beautiful location is home to the Cathedral of Salt located in an old salt mine. Since the beginning of the 19th century, this mine continues to function. At the moment only 10% of salt is extracted. This 10% is enough to supply the country’s salt needs and also for export. It’s on this mountain, next to the town of Zipaquirá, where locals decided to build an underground cathedral that would take advantage of the disused galleries of the mine. Due to structural problems and water leaks the old cathedral, locals replaced it by a new one of bigger dimensions and with greater resistance to the erosion.
According to recent studies, these mountains of salt have its origins in the Cretaceous period. During the Cretaceous, this area was occupied by a sea. After the process of evaporation of the water, these enormous deposits of salt were left, and after several years the salt mixed with the ground, solidifying and transforming into great rocks of high saline content. The continuous filtrations of water drag the sodium chloride of the rocks provoking saline outcrops of intense white colour and that later on, they form stalactites and stalagmites.
As soon as you enter the mine through a large opening you will walk through galleries. Across the church, you can discover crosses carved in the salt rock. The main nave of the Cathedral presided over by a giant crucifix carved into the rock 16 meters high, is simply stunning.
Another fabulous room is the one with a large bluish dome on the rock that looks like a lunar landscape. The effect of the colour of the light is spectacular and this, together with the dimensions of the place, causes a feeling of dwarfing and defenselessness of the vile mortals who visited it. Once you finish the 2 hours tour, we suggest visiting the centre of Zipaquirá. The city centre features a beautiful square surrounded by houses with two floors and wooden balconies.
Certainly, either you believe in god or not, the salt cathedral of Zipaquira constitutes a must-visit place in Colombia.
– The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira opens every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
– The price of admission for adults is about 7£.
– The cheapest way to get there is by public transport.