Bogotá is a unique and diverse city; you’ll be amazed by its history and rich culture whenever you come. I believe it’s accurate to say that by getting to know some of its best places, you’ll understand that uniqueness. Visiting the locality of Teusaquillo (Teusaquillo is also a neighborhood that is part of the locality) is great opportunity to experience that magic! Read this article to know more about this locality.
As the big city that it is, Bogotá is divided into, what me call, localities, which basically are administrative divisions that share a similar cultural, social and economic point of view. Localities are not to be confused with neighbourhoods, they are way bigger. Well, Teusaquillo is one of the most historical localities in Bogotá (with neighbourhoods such as Galerías, Palermo, La Soledad or Teusaquillo), located in the west-central part of the city, not that far away from La Candelaria. It has managed to stay modern while still treasuring historical qualities expressed in its history and its architecture. Plus, it is home to numerous diverse cultural and social activities, apart from the fact that it’s still considered a residential zone.
A little bit of history
What is known today as the locality of Teusaquillo was a large rural, agricultural land during colonial times and during the independence period. It was not until the 20th century that it began to grow as the nucleus for upper class residences. Families seeking to escape from the overpopulation of the historical center started purchasing pieces of land and building enormous and elegant homes.
In this way, paradoxically, Teusaquillo set the tone for some of the first processes of modern urbanization in Bogotá, when known architects (such as Karl Brunner) consolidated their ideas and contributed to the modernization and urbanization of the zone. With time, many of the families (some of them immigrants) began to move to the north with the same objective they had before: escape urbanity. And this is when Teusaquillo began its renovation. While still conserving many of its historical qualities shown in the residential architecture, it started transforming parts into offices, and social and cultural centres.
Where to go and what to do
Teusaquillo has so many interesting places to see and so many activities to do, that it’s actually quite difficult to summarize them here; but if you are visiting, these are some of the musts:
1. Estadio el Campín:
The main football stadium in Bogotá with 36.000 seats. It has hosted some of the most important matches, as well as concerts (Coldplay, Lady Gaga and even The Rolling Stones have all played here). Located on Avenida NQS (NQS Avenue) at Calle 57 (57th Street).
2. Biblioteca Virgilio Barco:
One of the most important libraries in Bogotá, designed by the most famous Colombian architect, Rogelio Salmona. It holds a collection of 150.000 books, and its architecture and landscape design are magnificent. Located on Avenida 60 (60th Avenue) at Calle 57 (57th Street).
3. Parque Simón Bolívar:
The Central Park of Bogotá, covering 113 hectares of land, with tons of different activities and events to enjoy. From concerts to sports events, this park offers everything for everyone. Located on Avenida 68 (68th Avenue) between Calle 53 (53rd Street) and Calle 63 (63rd Street).
4. Park Way:
The first Bulevar of Bogotá, built in the 1950s with a large green area that serves as lineal park between its two lanes. Nowadays it’s an important zone of cultural, artistic and gastronomic events. Located on Avenida 24 (24th Avenue) between Calle 36 (36th Street) and Calle 45 (45th Street). I recommend going to watch a play or a movie in Casa Ensamble (http://www.casae.com/), partying in Trementina (Carrera 24 # 37-42 ), or having a nice gourmet tea in el Templo Té (http://templote.com/).
5. Ciudad Universitaria:
The main campus of Universidad Nacional (National University), the largest and most important public university in Colombia. It’s considered a major architectural expression of the modernization of the country. Located on Carrera 30 (30th Career) at Calle 45 (45th Street).
6. La Soledad:
One of the most traditional neighborhoods in Teusaquillo and in Bogotá, with a large number of historic and architectural heritage buildings. Nowadays it’s home to hotels, restaurants, theatres and clubs with a unique bohemian touch. Located between Avenida 19 (19th Avenue) and Avenida NQS (NQS Avenue) and between Calle 34 (34th Street) and Calle 45 (45th Street). Here I recommend having nice walk around the neighborhood to admire the wonderful heritage architecture. Also, go to Teatro Ditirambo (https://teatroditirambo.com/ditirambo/) to watch some of the best theatre in Bogotá, experience the outdoor recitals of poetry, or have a nice dinner at some of the restaurants, like El Barrio (https://elbarrio.co/), located on Avenida 22 (22nd Avenue)
Whee institute: an educational center intended to innovate and share happiness through high quality education. Here you’ll be able to learn Spanish with locals and share knowledge and experiences. Located at Diagonal 33 Bis A # 15-16. Also visit their homepage: https://www.wheeinstitute.com/ and read our article Studying Spanish in Bogotá: 5 Reasons to Choose Whee Institute).
Nowadays Teusaquillo is home to university students, artists, musicians, journalists, and foreigners, among others, who have given a new air to the locality. What was once the refuge of upper social classes is now a place for diversity, knowledge, and integration, offering a wide variety of services, activities and entertainment. Teusaquillo (remember that here I’m talking about the entire locality, but there is also a neighborhood within it has the same name) has something for everyone, and touring it will make you realize how cozy and cool it is, while also embodying an important part of the history of Bogotá. Going to Teusaquillo is like having a taste of the past, it’s like travelling back in time while still knowing you are in the present.
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