El Cerro de Monserrate has always been one of the most important attractions of Bogotá, unfortunately some people don’t include in their itinerary this amazing place. We will show you some reasons why you should visit Monserrate when you come to Bogotá, but first a little bit about the history:
The historical beginning of Monserrate can be considered between 1620 and 1630 when La Cofradia de la Vera Cruz started to use the top of the hill of Monserrate known at that time as the top of the snow hill for religious celebrations. Over time many devout residents of Bogotá began to participate in the ascent to the top of the hill; in 1650 four knights met with the archbishop and Juan de Borga head of the court of Santa Fe for: secure permission to build a small religious retreat on top of the mountain. The founders decided to establish the retreat of the hermitage in the name of the Virgen Morena de Monserrat, whose sanctuary was in Cataluña near to Barcelona, for that reason the mountain received the name of Monserrate.
Some people believe that Monserrat was chosen to be the patroness because one of the founders Pedro Solis, had an uncle who had previously served as an abbot in the sanctuary of Monserrat.
To get to the top of the mountain of Monserrate you have three options:
- Pedestrian path
The Funicular was built in 1926 and was completed in 1928. It was officially opened on august 18 in 1929. Since then, a path has been opened to the top of Monserrate allowing us to admire the beautiful Andean landscape that serves as a tapestry along the gentle sound of birds that gives visitors a sense of calm and interaction with nature.
The Teleférico whose construction began in august 13 of 1953 and was officially opened in september 27 of 1955 and since then, with its large windows around the cab offers a stunning view of the hill that contrast with the beautiful panoramics of the city. As you slowly pass over the crown of the tall trees and the dense vegetation you have the feeling of contact between the earth and the sky.
The Pedestrian Path is one of the oldest in Bogotá because people used it to get to the top before the construction of the Funicular and Teleférico. With 1034 steps it is one of the most physically demanding trails in Bogotá due to its altitude and inclination that make it a good challenge for a pilgrim.
. . .
On the top you will find a beautiful view of Bogotá and Cerro de Guadalupe. About the sanctuary we can tell you that in 1656 the Father Rojas who was in charge of the administration of the sanctuary, ordered a carving of a crucifix and a statue of Jesus Christ which was called “The Fallen Lord”. Originally, this sculpture was placed inside a small chapel dedicated to the worship of Christ instead of being placed inside the religious retreat itself.
As time passed, more people began to visit the sanctuary to see the statue of Jesus instead of the holy matron of Monserrat. In the 19th century the statue of “The Fallen Lord” had gained so much attention that the sculpture of the Virgin of Monserrat was removed as the centerpiece of the sanctuary and replaced by “The Fallen Lord”. However, the mountain has preserved the name of Monserrate to this day. Since then, for more than four centuries pilgrims, citizens and travelers have walked the mountain to offer their prayers to the sanctuary of “The Fallen Lord”.
. . .
At the top of the mountain you can find two famous restaurants:
- Santa Clara: Since 1979, this restaurant serves typical Colombian food
- Casa San Isidro: a stylish restaurant with a wonderful decoration and a French – Mediterranean menu.
By the beautiful landscapes, delicious dishes, calm environment, contact with nature and many more reasons you should not miss a visit to Monserrate.
Remember that with Bogota Pass you can get special discounts on tickets and preferential lines.
. . .