Zipaquirá

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Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Skyline of Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Flag of Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Flag
Official seal of Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Seal
Location of the town and municipality of Zipaquira in the Cundinamarca Department.
Location of the town and municipality of Zipaquira in the Cundinamarca Department.
Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca is located in Colombia
Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 4°56′50″N 74°2′30″W / 4.94722°N 74.04167°W / 4.94722; -74.04167
Country  Colombia
Departamento Cundinamarca
Built July 18, 1600
Founded by Don Luis Henriquez
Government
 • Mayor Marco Tulio Sanchez
Area
 • Total 194 km2 (75 sq mi)
Elevation 2,652 m (8,701 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 118,165
 • Density 610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Demonym Zipaquireño
Area code(s) 57 + 1
Website Official website (Spanish)

Censo DANE 2005
Main plaza Cityhall of Zipaquirá

Zipaquirá (Spanish pronunciation: [sipaˈkiɾa]) is a municipality and city of Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. Its neighboring municipalities are Tausa and Cogua to the north; Nemocón, Gachancipá and Sopó to the east; Cajicá and Tabio to the south; and Subachoque and Pacho to the west. Its seat of municipal government is 49 kilometers from Santa Fe de Bogotá. It is part of the Greater Bogotá Metropolitan Area, and is the capital of the province. It is also headquarters of the diocese of the same name and that includes much of the Department of Cundinmarca, extending to the centre of Bogotá, the region of Rionegro, the Ubaté Valley, and the region of Guavio.

In Chibcha, the language of the Muiscas - the indigenous people of the area - its name meant "The Land of the Zipa". Zipa was the king of this territory.

The town is primarily known for its Salt Cathedral, an underground church built inside a salt deposit in a tunnel made as result of the excavation of the salinas (salt mines). Zipaquirá has a very interesting architecture, and the old city centre is a tourist attraction. Its main square is surrounded by old buildings in the Spanish Colonial style. This small city can be reached by train from Bogotá.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

In the Abra Valley between Zipaquirá and Tocancipá were found some of the most ancient human remains of Colombia. The lithic strata reveal animal bones and carbon fragments that carbon 14 dating indicates are 12,400 years old.

Zipaquirá is one of the oldest cities of Colombia. Its origins date from the time of the Spanish conquest. There are two possible origins of its name. One of them is taken from the indigenous people who inhabited the foot of the Zippa mountain range, "Chicaquicha", which means "our large wall" or according to other sources, "city of our father", and until the 19th century the name was written beginning with the letter C. The other possibility refers to the name "zipa", a title conferred to the governor of the village and to his wife, the latter known by the title of "Quira", and thus "Zipa-Quirá". The native people who lived there settled in the upper part of the mine called "Puebla Viejo", now known as Santiago Pérez, approximately 200 meters above the present site of the city, and where early Spanish descriptions (1536) speak of "seeing a few hundred dwellings with a population of 12,000 people".

These lands were part of the domain of Zipa de Bacatá, the leader of the southern part of the Muisca people. This area of the Bogotá plain had at that time a series of small lakes and canyons which made possible the transportation of its inhabitants by canoe, by means of which the inhabitants of Nemocón, Gachancipá, and Tocancipá reached Chicaquicha in order to seek supplies of salt which they traded for pottery and tiles. Salt was also traded with peoples throughout the Andean region of Colombia, including the Panches, Tolimas, and Pantágoras in the present Department of Tolima, and the Muzos of the present Department of Boyacá.

Colonial Era[edit]

On July 18, 1600, Don Luis Henríquez established a settlement on the site with workers and their families, and named it the "Village of Zipaquirá".

On August 2, 1600, Henríquez contracted Juan de Robles to construct the Church of Zipaquirá, which was later reconstructed by Pedro de Tovar y Buendía, when the parish priest was Fernando de Buenaventura y Castillo.

In 1605 the area was named the Corregimiento de Zipaquirá and removed to its original location; this was done due to the limited area available on the originally occupied plain, as well as to the fact that the Spanish forces ordered that no Spanish, negros, mestizos or mulattos were permitted to live in native villages, even if they had purchased land therein.

In 1623, the Spanish official Don Francisco de Sosa named as wards the 321 native inhabitants in the "Old Town", according to the declaration of Alfredo Tinoco.

On October 5, 1638, Gabriel de Carvajal became the guardian of 771 natives in the region and 125 in Tibitó.

In 1778, by order of the Viceroy Manuel Antonio Flores, the natives who lived in Zipaquirá were transported to Nemocón in order to prevent constant rebellions of previous owners of the salt deposits.

August 3, 1779 saw the creation of the Holy Trinity and San Antonio de Padua parish.

Typical street of Zipaquira

In 1852 Zipaquirá changed it status and became the "Autonomous Province of Zipaquira".

During the Spanish re-conquest, on August 3, 1816 the so-called Zipaquira Martyrs we executed in the city square.

Republican era[edit]

With the Constitution of Cundinamarca of 1815, the city became the capital of the province of the same name. On July 10, 1863, it was designated the capital of the Sovereign State of Cundinamarca, although subsequently it was named Funza by decree of President Morales. Law number 46 of April 29, 1905 created the Department of Quesada, the capital of which was Zipaquirá, which remained so until 1910.

Geography and description[edit]

Located 48km north of Bogotá, being linked by road and by train. The most famous of its salt mines has been exploited since pre-Columbian times by the Muiscas, in which is located the fabulous Salt Cathedral. Gonzales Forero Square is the epicentre of the city, surrounded by beautiful buildings that have conserved their colonial style, and are considered to be national monuments. The square contains a cathedral constructed between 1760 and 1870, with its interesting stone facade, as well as City Hall and the Salinas Administration Building, with their green Republican style roofs.

The city has undergone recent changes, having transformed streets in the centre to pedestrian walkways, and limiting vehicle traffic in the area in an attempt at preservation and conservation, and lending a more cordial aspect for tourists. As part of this strategy, the city has also carried out a project of restructuring the Sabana Station (railroad), and next to it the construction of Parque La Esperanza.

Currently, the Bogotá - Chía - Cajicá - Zipaquirá highway is being completed, making possible more rapid and safer access to the city, since the Cajicá - Zipaquirá segment was one of the most accident-prone roads in the country.

Zipaquirá offers the visitor typical restaurants, colonial houses that are almost 300 years old, tourist agencies, recreation centres such as Panaca Sabana, museums, crafts, and an interesting retail infrastructure.

Agriculture is also important in the municipality, especially dairy farming. Industry in the region is closely associated with the production, processing, and refining of salt. The estimated population is 100,000 inhabitants (called "Zipaquireños").

Among the most famous events of the area are the majestic Holy Week processions, organized for the last 54 years by the Nazarene of Zipaquirá Congregation, with processions throughout the week with beautiful Spanish religious relics that attract both local residents and visitors. Tourists actively participate during Good Friday when the procession of the Path of the Cross journeys up to the Plazoleta del Minero to the entrance of the Salt Cathedral.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Zipaquirá
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19
(66)
18
(64)
17
(63)
18
(64)
17
(63)
16
(61)
18
(64)
17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
19
(66)
17.6
(63.7)
Average low °C (°F) 7
(45)
6
(43)
5
(41)
6
(43)
6
(43)
4
(39)
5
(41)
4
(39)
5
(41)
6
(43)
5
(41)
7
(45)
10.0
(50)
Rainfall mm (inches) 26
(1.02)
57
(2.24)
69
(2.72)
77
(3.03)
80
(3.15)
49
(1.93)
49
(1.93)
31
(1.22)
61
(2.4)
90
(3.54)
80
(3.15)
44
(1.73)
713
(28.06)
Avg. rainy days 7 10 10 13 15 15 15 15 11 16 14 10 151
Source: INSTITUTO DE HIDROLOGIA METEOROLOGIA Y ESTUDIOS AMBIENTALES[1]

Night life[edit]

Zipaquira is also famous for its night life and different kinds of bars and clubs.

Notable people[edit]

School[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 05°02′N 74°00′W / 5.033°N 74.000°W / 5.033; -74.000