Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Popayan, Colombia

Popayan, Colombia is known as "the White City" because the small colonial town is famous for its chalk-white facades. It is the second most impressive colonial settlement after Cartagena which is locate in North Colombia by Caribbean Sea.

The town was founded in 1537 by Sebastian de Belalcazar and Popayan became the most important stopping point on the road between Cartagena and Quito, Ecuador. The mild weather attracts to most wealthy families from the sugar haciendas of the hot Cali region. In the 17th century, the town began to building new schools, mansions, churches and monasteries.

The city is famous for its celebration Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration which it takes place at nightime on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday where the tourists visit from around the world to see the religious festival.

The Iglesia de San Francisco is the city's largest colonial church and it's very beautiful inside. I couldn't see the inside of the church because it was closed that time. The church has  five story high bell tower and the outdoor domes.

Other colonial church is Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Popayan.

 Capilla de Belene, a chapel sit on a hill that gives a full 180 view of Popayan. 

Museo Arquidiocesano de Arte Religioso has good collection of religious art including paintings, statues, altar pieces, silverware and sculptures which dated from 17th to 19th centuries. The museum has two floors with each rooms filled with different collection of religious art. It has a beautiful courtyard in the center of the building where people can relaxing while they looking at the art pieces display on the wall. I would recommend everyone to take look at it because it gives you an inspiration from 17th to 19th centuries artworks.

Modern Museum of Art contains amazing pieces of modern artwork from Eduardo Ramirez Villamizar, Enrique Castro, Alfredo Lleras, Edgar Negret Duenas, Jesus Soto, etc. You can Google their artwork on Google by just type their names in the text-box.

In 1713, Puente de la Custodia was often called Puente Chiquita (Little Bridge) which located just north of the historic center. The bridge allow priests to cross the river to bring the holy orders to the sick of this poor northern suburb. About 160 years later, another Puente del Humilladero bridge was built alongside the old bridge and still in use today. It has solid 240 m long with 11 arches.

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