Zipaquira Salt Cathedral
It is a sacred place built inside the old salt mines, almost 200 meters deep, it is called cathedral exclusively because of its grandiosity.
Zipaquirá is 49 Km from Bogotá if you are in Bogotá capital of Colombia the easiest way is to take a bus to Zipaquirá the trip takes about 1 hour, you can get from the station on foot to the Cathedral, by taxi, or on a train tour.
The place offers a cultural, artistic and religious interest, and of course also geological, since the salt deposits date from 200 million years ago and consolidated in Zipaquirá "only" 30 million years ago.
The complete visit to the interior takes about two hours, is long and somewhat exhausting, as you descend through wide galleries to the level of - 180 meters deep. You practically follow the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross, admiring the outstanding works of art located in its surroundings; at each station, there is an explanatory panel about the salt and marble sculptures that adorn each station along with the galleries.
Impressive is the Main Chapel, which seems an unreal place, with its plays of light in a sublime atmosphere. On Sundays, masses are held in the chapel, which has a capacity of 8,000 people.
Its schedule is from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:40 pm. They also have guides in various languages Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese and Mandarin, from 9 a.m
Important calls and messages should be made before entering the mine because, at 180 meters deep, you usually lose the signal for your mobile phone. It is a little difficult to take pictures but there is a staff equipped with professional cameras that can take the pictures for you and give them to you at the exit as a souvenir.
The señores mine is also rented for events, and wedding receptions...at 180 meters deep, but in my opinion, it must be extremely difficult to hold a wedding in this place because of the strong smell of sulfur, as well as along the route.
Once inside the tunnel, the majesty surrounds you. Although the place is quite dark, the lighting details to highlight the figures carved in stone are incredible. There are places where you'd think you'd see natural light but at that depth, it's almost impossible.
The stone crosses, they're amazing, the light show: unmissable
Inside the mine, there is a small commercial area that leaves everyone amazed because one can not imagine finding shops and cafes in those depths, the most beautiful and genuine pieces of emeralds can be found in addition to many souvenirs.
If you are a lover of this precious stone (emerald), you will be amazed by the delicate pieces of jewelry displayed here in the different showcases, the sale is made in dollars and they are original with a seal of quality.
Recommendations and precautions
- Do not enter if you have heart or respiratory problems, as there is a strong smell of sulfur that at first chokes you when you breathe and makes you nervous, but little by little your body adapts to the depth and smell.
- I recommend wearing a mask.
- If you have problems with claustrophobia, don't go either, although there are teams of people prepared with first aid, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The images belong to me and were taken from a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone.