The Salt Cathedral is a church built inside mines salt of Zipaquirá, in the Savannah of Bogotá, in the department of Cundinamarca, in Colombia. It is also a place of worship and one of the shrines Catholic best known among those devoted to the Way of the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Salt Cathedral is located in the city of Zipaquirá, in the department of Cundinamarca, at 49 km north of the Capital District of Bogota , and at an altitude of 2659 meters. By train, the Cathedral is 48 kilometers from the city of Bogotá, and the trip is made by the Turístico Tren de la Sabana (Tourist train of the Savannah). This place is not only famous for salt mining but also for the discovery of human remains among the oldest of Colombia, in the valley of El Abra.
Although it is itself the main attraction, the cathedral is part of the amusement park The park of salt , which extends over an area of 32 hectares and is a unique nature reserve, which contrasts with the resource production activities which alters more ecosystems : mining. In the park, visitors can not only admire the surprising meeting between the delicacy of the art with the harshness of mining, but they can also attend a course of interesting geology , and on ways to conserve resources natural in a country. Thus, the Park and the Salt Cathedral is a destination of national and international tourism, and collect the ecotourism with religious tourism and geology enthusiasts.
The first cathedral, dating from 1954, was built by miners out of the walls of their mine. Threatened with collapse, she had to close its doors in 1992. This is Roswell Garavito Pearl, architect from Bogotá , who took charge of the artistic and architectural design of the new Cathedral of salt after his project was chosen from 44 proposals in a competition organized in 1990 by the Colombian Society of Architects. The technical management was entrusted to the engineer Jorge Enrique Reyes Castelblanco, also from Bogotá. Inside, there is a beautiful art collection, including salt sculptures and marble, in an atmosphere full of deep religious feeling which attracts pilgrims and tourists a. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is considered one of the most remarkable architectural and artistic success of Colombian architecture. He is credited also as the architectural jewel of modernity.
The importance of the cathedral is its value as a cultural, religious and environmental. The cathedral received the highest number of votes in a contest to elect the 7 wonders of Colombia in 2007 , becoming the Wonder no 1 from Colombia, so it was also proposed for the seven wonders of the modern world. The underground church is part of the cultural complex” Parque de la Sal “(Salt Park), a cultural theme dedicated to the world of mine, the geology and natural resources.