Bogota Free Planet

BFP Magazine

Travel, Colombia

Cartagena: Colombia's magical city rebounds

Proud of cultural and intellectual tradition

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anyone who has kept up with the news knows that Colombia is a perpetual cycle of unrest and violence. Drug running, guerrilla warfare, right-wing death squads, kidnappings, and devastating earthquakes plague this midsize South American country, and bombings, once only seen in the countryside, now rock major cities such as Bogot‡. But Colombia is a bewildering paradox, and bad news is just one part of the story.

A Drug-Runners’ Stronghold Finds a New Life

By Grace Bastidas

Saturday, August 11, 2007, Paul Smith for The New York Times

IT was Thursday evening in MedellĖn and the open-air bars and cafes along fashionable Lleras Park were overflowing with after-work singles. At Triada, a stylish lounge with an orange neon bar and low-slung couches, laughter filled the subtropical air along with the deep-toned drumming of cumbia music. From around the corner, a small group of motorcyclists screeched by, their shiny engines puttering like machine guns. No one flinched, and the party kept rolling.

Fernando Botero


Thursday, June 28, 2007

One of the best and most popular contemporary artists in the world today

Fernando Botero (1932----) Born - Medellin, Colombia Fernando Botero is one of the best and perhaps the most popular contemporary artists in the world today. His unique style is instantly recognizable. In the course of three decades, his hard and disciplined effort resulted in more than 1,000 paintings, serveral thousand drawings; and beginning in the mid-1970's, a number of distinctive bodies of sculpture in bronze and polyester resins. "In art, as long as you have ideas and think, you are bound to deform nature. Art is deformation." - F. Botero

Famous Emeralds

By Margaret Burgon Klemp

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Famous emeralds can be found in museums all over the world, with the largest collections found in the crown jewels of Iran most notably the Pahlabi Crown and the Nadir Throne which contains over a thousand emerald carats. In the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul a connoisseur of gemstones can find some of the world's finest emeralds. The museum is on the grounds of the palace complex of the sultan who lived there---Topkapi Saray. Among the artifacts is the famous Topkapi dagger that has three large emeralds from Colombia embedded in it. This dagger was commissioned by Sultan Mahmud I in 1747 as a gift for Nadir Shah, the ruler of Persia. The Shah died before he could receive it, and it remained in Turkey.

Western treasures,
Eastern inspiration

By Simon Teakle

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Doris Duke's jewelry collection gleams with her love of the orient

Doris Duke was an insatiable collector. Among her better known interests were French and English furniture, Southeast Asian and Islamic art, rare wines, and restoring houses. But her most impressive collection was also her most personal-her jewelry.

Remarkably, Doris Duke didn't consider it a formal collection but a mix of pieces she inherited from her family, gems she acquired on her travels and modern pieces she added later in life. Because Doris Duke often hand-selected gems and collaborated on the design of her pieces, her jewelry provides an intimate glimpse of her personal style. The collection also sets the story of her life against a backdrop of historical events, societal trends and aesthetic movements during the late 19th and almost all of the 20th centuries.

Republic of Colombia


Officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country located in the northwestern region of South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the North by the Atlantic Ocean, through the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by Panama and the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the only country in South America that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.[1][2]

Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America (after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru), with an area seven times greater than that of New England and more than twice that of France.

Park Tayrona

By Andrea Holme

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tayrona Park

After a day of rest from the diving (by the way we passed the exam and all that- good old multiple choice :-) today we went into the Parque Nacional Tayrona- a national park which covers a large chunk of the Caribbean coast east of Taganga. We did most of our dives in the western part of the park but the eastern part is said to have the most beautiful beaches so we took a bus and spent the day there and it truly was the most beautiful place I have seen. That side of the park gets a lot more rain than the arid Taganga side and hence there is dense jungle vegetation which comes right down to the beach. Walking the paths from beach to beach we saw huge colonies of leaf-cutter ants streaming along their own motorway-like paths, enormous spiders with yellow and black legs sitting on their webs and hundreds of jewel bright lizards and land crabs which scuttled away at our tread but not before we glimpsed a flash of colour.

The Salt Cathedral, Zipaquirá

By Wilson Lievano

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Salt Cathedral

The salt cathedral is a must-see for Catholics that visit Bogotá, (Zipaquirá is just 15.5 miles from Bogotá and is accessible by car or train), but the architecture and the fine carving of statues and religious symbols appeal to all kinds of visitors.

The current cathedral is not the original one. As time passed, the water that seeped in from outside (rain is frequent in the region) started to damage the cathedral and pose a threat to visitors. In 1990, the government closed the shrine and started to build a new one 197 feet (about 60 meters) below the old cathedral. The project was completed in 1995 and now covers 2.1 acres of underground tunnels and chambers.

Blue-throated Hummingbird Discovered in Colombia

By Newsmax Wires

Monday, May 14, 2007

WASHINGTON-- A new blue-and-green- throated hummingbird species has been discovered in a cloud forest in Colombia, and already needs protection from human encroachment, the experts who found the bird said on Sunday.

Called the gorgeted puffleg, the new species is easily twice as big as the thumb-sized hummingbirds found in the eastern United States, measuring between 3.5 inches and 4 inches (90 and 100 mm) in length, its discoverers said in answer to e-mailed questions.

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