The history of Zipaquirá is reflected in the strategic position it occupies in the Cundiboyacense highlands; in turn, its environment and natural beauty are reflected in its main attraction; “The Salt Cathedral” declared cultural heritage and the first wonder of Colombia. On the other hand, it is recommended to take the tour walking through the historic center so that you can contemplate every detail and observe the majesty of what is nowadays known as La Villa de la Sal; the city grows with its architecture, squares, parks, monuments, churches, cultural centers and museums; that today are well preserved and are worthy exponents of our history.
CATEDRAL DE SAL.
The beautiful Cathedral is completely carved in salt, due to the magnitude and detail of its construction, it is considered one of the most recognized architectural and artistic achievements of Colombian engineering; that it has been awarded the title of “Jewel of modern architecture”, at the same time due to its worldwide recognition, it is the main reason for visiting, both national and international tourists.
This underground temple is located 2,674 meters above sea level; and today it is an important historical, cultural and religious heritage of humanity, listed as the eighth wonder of the planet and the first wonder of Colombia; For this reason, it is one of the favorite destinations for hundreds of thousands of tourists.
This emblematic place amazes its visitors with its majesty; not to mention that it is 180 meters underground; where a healthy environment is aspired derived from salt; moving away from everyday life and inviting reflection, self-discovery and an internal encounter with the spiritual part.
The first section called Via Crucis is part of the 386 meter long underground route, in which 14 stations are arranged that represent the different stages lived by Jesus, from the moment he was learned until his crucifixion and burial.
After finishing the tour of the Way of the Cross, find the Dome that symbolizes the union between the land, the vast sea and the blue sky that shelters us. There you will find a tunnel that leads you to the Great Central Chamber, where you can see the largest cross in the world carved in salt.
Next, there is the choir at the top of the central nave, made up of a series of stairs carved in salt that represent the musical scale. From this place you can appreciate the majesty of the central nave and in the background the divinity of the cross. After this, the descent continues through the work known as the narthex, which is made up of a series of parallelepipeds that give a feeling of labyrinths, and according to tradition, one should go there as penance. In addition, at the top is the Archangel Saint Michael who has a strip that says “You are the salt of the earth, the prolongation of existence.”
Continuing with the tour, then you will find the nave of the birth composed of sculptures that represent the moment when Jesus was born, the baptistery and a crystalline waterfall that symbolizes the Jordan River where Jesus Christ was baptized. At this point, it already communicates with the central nave, which is the most imposing of the three naves and is supported by four immense columns that symbolize the 4 pillars of the church; Saint Matthew, Saint Luke, Saint Mark and Saint John, evangelists and faithful disciples of the Christian faith. In this place you admire and contemplate the largest cross in the world carved in salt; which is a mystery to recognize for its majesty and optical illusion.
In turn, the medallion of creation that symbolizes the birth of Christ is located, giving way to the ship of the resurrection, which represents the nativity and its connection with earthly life. This ship houses the sculptural work known as La Pietat that represents the descent of Christ symbolizing the end of his earthly life. Other monuments found in the nave are the chapel of the Most Holy, the Grottos of the Resurrection and the representation of the Child God that symbolizes the elevation of Jesus to heaven after his long ordeal.
After this great tour the Salt Cathedral has other activities:
RUTA DEL MINERO.
Discover the fantastic experience of being a miner 180 meters underground with appropriately adequate equipment and a personalized guide, so that you can get a closer look at the different geological layers and learn how the salt extraction process was carried out on site.
Nucuma is a 3D animated short where the interesting history of the formation of the salt dome and the methods of ancestral and current exploitation that led to the construction of the majestic Salt Cathedral are discovered.
ESPEJO DE AGUA
In this place the moment in which the salt is extracted from the mine is recreated, the clay being dissolved at the bottom, which together with the saturated water simulates a perfect mirror; which, upon receiving the light, reflects the walls and ceilings of the chamber, generating an effect of abyss and depth.
SHOW DE LUCES.
In the commercial area of the Salt Cathedral, you can enjoy a mesh with led technology, which is deployed on the ceiling at more than 16 meters high. There, different events and images of our magical Colombia are recreated.
In Catedral de Sal you can also find a wide range of handicrafts with a diversity of concepts, as well as a wellness center and spa that invites you to relax and enjoy the millennial benefits that salt naturally possesses.
Finally, Catedral de Sal has an optimal infrastructure that allows tourists to provide the necessary and required security during their tour; which we could worthily call it “The Salt Road” because it is made through tunnels, tunnels, galleries or chambers of the old farm. Undoubtedly, this icon has led the process of tourist, hotel and gastronomic development in the region, especially in Zipaquirá in the authentic city of Salt.