Back in 2007, the new 7 wonders of the world were chosen in a competition that originally started in 2000. This campaign was launched to replace the list of ancient wonders of the world which had been floating around for many centuries.
After all, only one landmark of the ancient list still stands today, the Great Pyramid of Giza, so creating a new list with wonders wasn’t a bad idea at all.
This idea spilled over to various countries in the world as many sub-competitions were launched all across the globe. One of these was launched in 2007 as well in Colombia, South America.
The most popular newspaper in the country, “El Tiempo,” was the instigator who launched the campaign to find the 7 wonders of Colombia, and thousands of votes were cast.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the winners, man-made structures of incredible engineering, architectural or historical value in this magnificent country!
7. Teatro de Cristóbal Colón – 2,785 votes
The Teatro de Cristóbal Colón or “Theater of Christopher Columbus” is often referred to as simply the “Teatro Colón” and is located in Bogotá, the capital and largest city in the country. It’s the national theater of Colombia and was declared a national monument in the year 1975.
The auditorium of the theater was modeled on one of the most famous opera houses in the world, the Palais Garnier in Paris, France, even though it’s only half its size. The building was designed by Italian architect Pietro Cantini in 1885 in the Neoclassical style and inaugurated just 7 years later on October 27, 1892.
6. Tierradentro – 2,787 votes
Tierradentro is the name of one of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia, a civilization of people that started to flourish around 200 B.C. As the name suggests, the remains of this culture can be found in so-called “hypogea,” underground excavations which are the main feature of an archaeological park.
Most of these hypogea can be found at a depth of between 5 to 8 meters (16 to 26 feet) and feature a spiraling staircase that leads up to an underground main chamber. This main chamber is surrounded by various other chambers that served as tombs and therefore contained corpses. This ancient burial ground is now a popular tourist attraction and one of the 7 wonders of Colombia.
5. Ciudad Perdida – 4,373 votes
Ciudad Perdida literally translates to “Lost City” and that’s exactly what it is, an archaeological site that features the remains of an ancient city. This site can be found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, one of the most remarkable mountain ranges in northern Colombia.
The ancient city isn’t as old as Tierradentro as it’s assumed it was founded around 800 A.D., which is still much earlier (about 650 years) than the lost city of the Incas and one of the new 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu in Peru. The lost city in Colombia features a total of 169 terraces that were carved into the rocks and over 1,200 stone steps, more than enough for a great hike!
4. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas – 4,389 votes
The Castillo San Felipe de Baraja is located in the city of Cartagena, a large city and major on the northern coast of Colombia. It was built during the Spanish colonial era and was built on a strategic position on the so-called on the Hill of San Lázaro which overlooks the ocean.
The construction of this amazing castle started in the year 1586 and it was seriously expanded in 1657. The castle’s original name referred to the hill it’s located on, namely the “Castillo de San Lázaro.” It features several corridors of which some are open to the public, making it an interesting tourist attraction in Cartagena.
3. San Agustín Archaeological Park – 4,680 votes
San Agustín Archaeological Park is another archaeological site which is located near the town of the same name in the southwestern corner of the country. This amazing park features the largest number of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in all of Latin America.
The park belonged to another ancient culture in the area called the San Agustin culture which has roots dating back to the 4th Millennium B.C. The park is considered to be the largest necropolis in the world, with many of the statues believed to have been carved between the years 5 and 400 A.D.
2. Las Lajas Sanctuary – 5,057 votes
Las Lajas Shrine or “Santuario de Las Lajas” is officially known as the “National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Las Lajas” and is one of the most fascinating churches in South America. The basilica church is located in the Colombian Nariño department in the utmost southwestern corner of the country in the town of Ipiales.
The church has a neo-Gothic design and it took 33 years to complete between 1916 and 1949. Its name refers to a “Laja,” a type of sedimentary rock that resembles a shale or slate found in the location in which it was constructed. The remarkable location of this astounding church makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and a more than deserved spot in the list of 7 wonders of Colombia.
1. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá – 6,654 votes
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is yet another Roman Catholic church, but one which is located entirely underground. It was constructed within the tunnel complex of a salt mine and is situated about 200 meters (660 ft) below the ground. Its located in the city of Zipaquirá in the Cundinamarca department in central Colombia.
The church was designed in such a way that it’s divided into 3 sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. All of the elements of this remarkable church were hand-carved into the rocks of the salt mine. Because it’s considered as the ultimate “Jewel of Colombian architecture,” it was chosen as the winner of the 7 Wonders of Colombia competition, and who are we to deny that it’s totally deserved!