Plaza de Bolívar


The usual place to start discovering Bogotá is the giant concrete Plaza de Bolívar, the heart of the original town. What it lacks in green foliage it makes up for in grandiosity. In the middle of the square is a bronze statue of Simón Bolívar (cast in 1846), the work of Italian artist Pietro Tenerani. This was the city's first public monument.

In the center of the square are flocks of pigeons that dive-bomb anyone within 50m – a hat is a good idea.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bogotá attractions

1. Capilla del Sagrario

0.05 MILES

This small baroque cathedral has more to see than its bigger brother next door, the Catedral Primada, including six large paintings by Gregorio Vásquez.

3. Edificio Liévano

0.05 MILES

On the western side of the plaza, this French-style building is now home to the alcaldía (mayor's office). The building was erected between 1902 and 1905.

4. Capitolio Nacional

0.05 MILES

On the southern side of the plaza stands this neoclassical seat of congress. It was begun in 1847 but, due to numerous political uprisings, not completed…

5. Catedral Primada

0.05 MILES

This neoclassical cathedral stands on the site where the first Mass may have been celebrated after Bogotá was founded in 1538 (some historians argue that…

6. Palacio de Justicia

0.06 MILES

On the northern side of the plaza, this massive, rather styleless edifice serves as the seat of the Supreme Court.

7. Iglesia de San Ignacio

0.09 MILES

The Jesuits began this iconic church in 1610 and, although opened for worship in 1635, it was not completed until their expulsion in 1767. It was the…

8. Museo Colonial

0.11 MILES

This museum occupies a one-time Jesuit college and traces the evolution of how religious and portrait art pieces are made, particularly by Colombia's…