An underground cathedral built entirely out of salt… lick the walls if you don’t believe it. It’s somehow hard to take pictures in this place, you need long exposures, or maybe high ISO film.
About an hour on the bus from Bogota, Zipaquira is a picturesque little town up in the mountains where it is generally grey and quite cold. The town is famous for its salt mines and many years ago the devout miners built and entire cathedral inside the mine. This original cathedral is now too dangerous to visit due to subsidence but rather than loose their tourist attraction, the government went ahead and launched a competition for a new cathedral. The result is a masterpiece of minimalist design…
You enter through a long tunnel and along various side chapels, all sparsely decorated with crucifixes made from large blocks of salt…. the tour takes you through various other roomy chambers until you reach the main cathedral itself with an enormous cross dug into the wall.
The thing to bear in mind is that this is all entirely built out of salt, as a lick of the wall proves (if you dare lick the wall that is)… as a result there are stunning natural patterns on the ceilings and all over the rock surfaces lending it a unique touch.
Not the easiest place to take photos given the low light and armed only with an LCA i found the best way to take pictures was putting the camera on its back and letting it go for the full 30 odd seconds of exposure…. that explains why i mostly took pictures of ceilings….it wasn’t until sometime into the tour I remembered I had my colour flash on me.
Anyway… an interesting and thoroughly recommendable day out.