Centro de las Artes


On the southern edge of the colonial sector is the tree-shaded Plaza Miranda. Positioned at the halfway point between the cathedral and the cemetery, it was once known as the Plaza Descanso (rest), because funeral pallbearers would stop to break here along the way to burials. A sizable building on its eastern side was constructed in 1870 as a hospital, but it never served that purpose. It has had a bizarre list of tenants instead, having been used as a prefecture, theatre, army barracks and police station. Eventually it opened in 1992 as the Centro de las Artes and stages temporary exhibitions of modern art, though it was being given a renovation on our last visit and should reopen again in 2010.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Venezuela attractions

1. Alcaldía de Heres

0.13 MILES

A pair of fine old buildings on both sides of the street, connected by the graceful arch of an aerial walkway.

2. Catedral

0.19 MILES

Ciudad Bolívar's magnificent cathedral dates from 1790 and dominates the Plaza Bolívar with its yellow and white painted facade and attractive interior.

3. Casa del Congreso de Angostura


The brash pink Casa del Congreso de Angostura dominates the western side of the plaza. Built in the 1770s, in 1819 it was home to lengthy debates by the…

4. Casa Piar

0.22 MILES

On the northern side of the plaza is the Casa Piar, where General Manuel Piar was kept prisoner in October 1817 before being positioned against the…

5. Fortín El Zamuro

0.28 MILES

The Fortín El Zamuro is a small fort built in the late 18th century atop the highest hill in the city, just south of the colonial quarter. It provides…

6. Museo de Ciudad Bolívar


The Casa del Correo del Orinoco – an example of impressive colonial architecture – houses the Museo de Ciudad Bolívar, a hodgepodge of modern art and…

7. Antigua Cárcel

0.33 MILES

The Antigua Cárcel is a restored 18th-century prison building that functioned as a jail until 1952 and now contains the Bolívar state culture offices.