One of Medellín’s oldest squares, dating to 1680, this expansive plaza has always been the city’s “front room.” Between 1784 and 1892, it was the site of Medellín’s lively public market, ceremonial events, and grizzly public executions. A statue of Pedro Justo Berrío (governor of Antioquia from 1864–1873), mounted on a marble pedestal, forms the square’s centerpiece. On the west side of the square, the Basilica Nuestro Señora de La Candelaria (Carrera 50 no. 50–72; tel. 574/231-3332) functioned as the city’s cathedral from 1868 to 1931. Dedicated to every Colombian’s favorite saint, the Virgin of Candelaria, the eye-catching whitewashed stone and lime church was originally built in 1649, then rebuilt, only to be demolished and reconstructed all over again in 1767 in neoclassical style according to the dictates of then-governor Don José Barón de Chávez. With two symmetrical towers topped by red-tiled domes, the basilica exudes a certain lofty grace; it seems to yearn for an Antioquian village backdrop rather than the hustle, bustle, and architectural mishmash of Parque Berrío. In the southwest of corner the park, Botero lovers shouldn’t miss “Torso de Mujer,” which goes by the affectionate moniker of La Gorda. The headless bronze sculpture was the first work that Botero donated to his hometown in 1987.
Carrera 50/Calle 51
Our Rating Transportation Metro: Parque Berrío
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.