Visit the Tequendama Waterfall

For the Muiscas the Tequendama waterfall was a very important place. Archeological finds give evidence that Muiscas communities settled here since a long time. Legend tells that Bochicha the good god that learned the Muiscas  cultivate land, weave, make pottery, was called to help the Muiscas that suffered from a big flood that destroyed the Muisca lands. This was caused by the God Chibchacum, the protector of farmers.

Bochica, who was a god figure with a large beard and golden scepter appeared on a rainbow. With the scepter he hit the rocks that freed the water from a lake that was already covering the savanna that streamed away though the opening Bochica created in this way creating the Tequendama falls. Bochica punished Chibchacum by ordering him to carry the earth on his shoulder every-time he gets tired the earth shakes.

The Tequendama falls has since the nineteenth century attracted many travellers and tourists. One of the most famous is Alexander von Humboldt who visited the falls in 1801, and the spot was a scenery for many drawings, paintings and photographs in the romantic period.

La Casa del Salto del Tequendama (The house of the Tequendama Waterfalls)
La casa del Salto del Tequendama (The house of the Tequendama Waterfall)

In 1923 a mansion was built at the waterfalls that since 1927 served as a railway-station (The falls were connected by rail to Bogota)  restaurant & hotel. The Hotel was very popular because of the spectacular view but only accecible for the elite. Because of the contamination of the Rio Bogota that passes through the ever growing city of Bogota tourists lost interest in the area. In the 1980’s the mansion was an italian restaurant that closed in the nineties. After that the mansion was not used for a two decades.

Since 1994 there has been put effort to clean the area and recuperate the house. Since 2013 the house is a museum that also gives information about the recuperation of the Bogota river ( that lamentably was an open sewarage for decades) a project that already has made the contamination of the river less and strives to clean the river and recuperate the ecology of the precious cloudforest in this area 30km from Bogota, and hopefully in the future the whole bassin of the river of Bogota.

 

 

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