The historic and old Basilica Minore del Senor Caido, Bogota, Colombia


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Another significant Church from the "new world". It's over 400 years old and located in Bogota, Colombia, over 3,500 meters above sea level. A very interesting and beautiful place.

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The historic and old Basilica Minore del Senor Caido, Bogota, Colombia

  1. 1. 1 proudly presents:proudly presents: The BasilicaThe Basilica MinoreMinore Del SeDel Seññoror CaidoCaido dede MonserrateMonserrate (The Fallen Christ)(The Fallen Christ) BogotBogotáá, Colombia, Colombia written bywritten by:: Fergus DucharmeFergus Ducharme,, assisted by:assisted by: JoemarieJoemarie AcallarAcallar && NiloNilo JimenoJimeno with photos by:with photos by: J.P. RJ.P. Réémimi ProulxProulx,, PEngPEng
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  6. 6. 6 This church has a very interesting story indeed. It has, over the years, become the tourism identifier for Bogotà and is known far and wide as a most worthy representative of the city and its people. The Cerro de Monserrate is the best known of the eastern hills of Bogota. Alongside Gaudalupe, it is one of the guardian hills of the city. Monserrate has an altitude of 3152 m (10,433 feet) and is located on the eastern ridge of the mountains. The hills of Bogotá are sedimentary in nature, and are at least 16 million years old, with Cretaceous rocks belonging to Guadalupe Group, which refers to the geological formation. Until the mid- seventeenth century, it was known as Cerro de Las Nieves. The ”Lord of Monserrate” Basilica has been a place of religious pilgrimage since colonial times and has become a natural, religious, gastronomic attraction of the city. You can climb the hill on a 2.5 kilometre footpath, by cable car or by funicular.
  7. 7. 7 There are three ways to travel to the top of the Cerro Monserrate 1. The preferred method is a 2.5km walk up the mountain. 2. There is a funicular which actually only runs for about 800 meters up the mountain. 3. Or, there is the Cable Cars.
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  11. 11. 11 The first church was built at the top of Monserrate Hill in Bogotá starting in 1640 and it was finally completed in 1657. It was originally under the care of the Augustinians and it was also actually administered for a time by the Jesuits. It was originally built as a shrine to the Black Virgin of Montserrat. The problem was that as construction was progressing, something odd happened. The Augustinians noticed that the pilgrims who came to visit the shrine were more interested in the veneration of the “Fallen Christ” rather than our Lady of Montserrat. They made the adjustment rather quickly. And the GBlack Virgin of Montserrat was soon replaced by the image of the "Fallen Christ nailed to the cross ", the work of master Pedro de Lugo Albarracin which was carved in wood and inlaid with lead and silver. A massive earthquake in 1917 completely destroyed the shrine. The congregation re-built. The new church was designed by architect Arturo Jaramillo Concha in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The church was also built with the help of pilgrims who went ‘climbed up the hill’ to visit the Fallen Lord of Monserrate with them at least one brick each as a penance and to help in the construction. The church was finally completed and consecrated in 1925.
  12. 12. 12 The Black Madonna was believed to have been carved in Jerusalem by Saint Luke in 50 AD and brought to Spain. It is a wooden sculpture. It is one of the most famous Black Madonna statues in the world. In 718 AD it was moved to it present location at Monserrat in Catalonia, Spain by the Benedictine Monks who held this holy statue to avoid it falling into the hands of the Saracens. and in 1844 Pope Leo XIII declared the Virgin of Montserrat the patroness of Catalonia.
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  18. 18. 18 painting of the shrine in the late 1800s by Luis Nuñez Borda
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  21. 21. 21 As one enters the church, there is a small chapel honouring the Black Virgin of Monserrat, which is quite beautiful…
  22. 22. 22 The altar is ornamented with silver and gold and is made of native wood.
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  24. 24. 24 A little further into the church we enter the nave and the ‘rest’ of the church… On closer inspection we observe the rather plain columns and the arches spanning the church from side to side which are all indicative of the Gothic Revival style of architecture.
  25. 25. 25 The sanctuary itself is quite plain and is dominated by the statue of the “Fallen Christ” above the altar in its place of honour. The altar itself is quite plain but has a striking tabernacle in gold and silver. The whole is flanked by two life sized statues of Angels which appear to be guarding the sanctuary.
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  27. 27. 27 Once again outside the church itself there are two areas of interest. The first being the walkways around the mountain top which have been given over to The Way of the Cross with life sized statues of each station of the Way of the Cross.
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  31. 31. 31 A little further away, closer to the funicular station is a building in which there are various souvenir shops and two rather impressive restaurants, one which specializes in French Cuisine and the other in local cuisine. Both are quite well respected and enjoy a well deserved reputation in the community.
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  34. 34. 34 The first Restaurant is the Casa San Isidro
  35. 35. 35 The Second is Restaurante Santa Clara
  36. 36. 36 Once we get back to “Terra Firma” and simply just look around us we see some interesting things. The Bogotá Cathedral of La Señora de la Candelaria is seen in the background.
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  38. 38. 38 We want to thank the following for their contributions to this article: Photos provided by: J P Rémi Proulx, PEng. Other materials and some photos provided by: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  39. 39. 39 If you have suggestions or recommendations on how we can improve this service for you please e-mail your ideas along to:
  40. 40. 40 Just a few of the churches Historic Philippines has visited & reported on just for you!
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