Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
At an altitude of 8,660 feet (2640 meters) above sea level in the Cordillera Oriental of the Northern Andes Mountains, Bogotá is situated on a sloping plain at the base of two mountains, Guadalupe and Monserrate, upon whose crests stand two imposing churches. Bogotá is currently receiving about 100,000 new residents per year from the troubled regions of Colombia and is expanding in size to meet this influx; currently the urban area covers 384.3 sq km and the mountainous rural area extends 1222.5 sq km.
Several small streams, one of which, the San Francisco, passes through the city, unite near the south-western extremity of the plateau and form the Rio Funza, or Bogotá, which finally plunges over the edge at Tequendama in one of Bogotá's biggest tourist attractions: a beautiful, perpendicular waterfall of about 475 feet (145 meters). The climate is mild and temperate, the average annual temperature being about 58°F (14°C) and rainfall about 44 inches (110 cm).
The city is laid out in a grid, with numbered carreras intersecting numbered calles. Among the city's squares is the Plaza Bolívar, where some of the important public buildings and churches are located. Bogotá is connected by road to the Atlantic coast to the north and the Pacific coast to the west, as well as to all other major cities of Colombia. The Pan-American Highway and the Simón Bolívar Highway both pass through the city. The city is served by El Dorado International Airport. The TransMilenio transportation system is the most modern form of public transit serving the city.
Bogotá has traditionally been a major center of art, culture, and learning for northern South America. Sometimes called the "Athens of South America," Bogotá is home to several universities, including National University of Colombia (1830), Los Andes University (1948), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Javeriana Pontifical University) (1622):, the Universidad Externado de Colombia (1886), and the University of Santo Tomás (1580).
In addition to the Museo del Oro, which holds the world's largest collection of pre-Columbian gold, there is also the National Museum of Colombia which contains a large collection of pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial artifacts and Colombian art. Bogotá has many other history and art museums, among them the Children's Museum of Bogotá, museum of science and technology ("Maloka"), a museum of natural history, the Bogotá Planetarium , La Casa de la Moneda (Bogotá Mint ) to which an important collection of modernist art was recently donated, The Botero Museum and several modern art galleries.
Bogotá, called Bacatá by the indigenous Chibcha, was the center of their civilization before the Spanish conquest, and sustained a large population. The European settlement was founded in 1538 by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name. "Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the viceroyalty of New Granada, and the city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America. In 1810-11 its citizens revolted against Spanish rule and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with Spanish military loyalists, who controlled the city until 1819, when Simón Bolívar captured the city after his victory at Boyacá. Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When that republic was dissolved into its constituent parts, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia. See History of Colombia.
In August 2000 the capital's name was officially changed (again) from "Santa Fé de Bogotá" to the more usual "Bogotá". The local government consists in a Capital District, the current chief of government is Luis Eduardo Garzón.
The Flag of Bogotá originates from the insurgency movement against the colonial authorities which began on July 20, 1810. During this insurgency, the rebels wore armbands with yellow and red bands, as these colours were the ones in the Spanish flag which was the one used as the flag for the New Kingdom of Granada.
The flag itself is divided vertically in two, the top half being yellow and the bottom half being red. The yellow colour denotes the virtues of justice, clemency and being benign, the so-called "mundane qualities" (defined as nobility, excellence, richness, generosity, splendour, health, steadfastness, joy and prosperity), long life, eternity, power and constancy. The red colour denotes the virtue of charity, as well as the qualities of bravery, nobility, values, audacity, victory, honour and furour.
The Coat of Arms of the city of Bogotá was ceded by emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain) to the New Kingdom of Granada, as evidenced by the Royal Decree given in Valladolid, Spain on December 3, 1548. It contains a black eagle in the center, which symbolises steadfastness. The eagle is crowned with gold and holds a red pomegranate inside a golden background. The border contains olive branches with nine golden pomegranates in a blue background. The two red pomegranates symbolize audacity, and the nine golden ones represent the nine states which constituted the New Kingdom of Granada at the time. In 1932 the coat of arms was officially recognized and adopted as the Symbol of Bogotá.
Main article: Anthem of Bogotá
The lyrics to the anthem of Bogotá were written by Pedro Medina Avendańo , the melody was composed by Roberto Pineda Duque . The song was officially declared the anthem of Bogotá by decree 1000 of July 31, 1974, by then Mayor of Bogotá , Aníbal Fernandez de Soto .
Bogota is one of the major centers of economy in Colombia alongside Medellin, Cali, and Bucaramanga. Generally Bogota is where all companies major or minor in Colombia have an office for buying and selling. It is also center for the Colombian Stock markets and foreign companies doing buisiness in Colombia.
The Big Three
Coffee is one of the factors that drives the Colombian Economy. Colombia is the #1 exporter of smooth coffees and #2 exporter of coffees overall. The product is not grown in Bogota but the offices of the companies reside in Bogota. Colombia is famous for its coffee and it is among the finest in the world. Bogotas stock markets and economy thrive off the cofee trade even thought the price of coffee has been down for several years.
The Emerald trade is a huge buisness in Bogota. Near the center of town there is an economic section called Emerald Avenue . There almost every day millions off dolars in rought and cut emeralds are bought and sold.
Strange Colombia doesnt seem to invoke visions of flowers yet as much as 55% of flowers sold in america are imported from colombia. In Bogota big greenhouses as long as 5 miles are kept stocked with flowers year round and transported to the United States via plane and other methods.
Culture and modern life
Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro
Music Festivals (all genres year round)
Salon Nacional de Artistas (national art exhibition)
Literary Magazines and Publications
Every Sunday and holiday the main streets of Bogota are blocked off for Ciclovia. From 7 am to 2 pm, walkers and bicyclists take over the streets. At the same time, stages are set up in city parks. Aerobics instructors, yoga teachers and musicans lead people through various performances.
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