Tequendama Falls Museum Housed in Abandoned Hotel

hotel-del-salto-tequendama-falls-museum (Image: ArturoAparicio, cc-sa-3.0)

Tequendama Falls Biodiversity and Cultural Museum-House has been created within an abandoned South American mansion situated adjacent to a 132 metre-high waterfall in Columbia. Before its abandonment in the 1990s, this French-style mansion had been the Tequendama Falls Hotel (La Casa del Salto del Tequendama).

hotel-del-salto-tequendama-falls-museum-2

hotel-del-salto-tequendama-falls-museum-5 (Images: Pedro Felipe, cc-sa-3.0; FranciscoA. ZeaB., cc-4.0)

The original manor house was constructed atop a cliff in 1923 and its design is credited to the architect, Carlos Arturo Tapias. The elite guests of the Hotel del Sato enjoyed an impressive view of the Taquendama Falls on the Bogotá River but the scene became spoilt by the increasing sewage flowing downstream from several settlements, including the nearby city of Bogotá.

hotel-del-salto-tequendama-falls-museum-3 (Image: Pedro Felipe, cc-sa-3.0)

There are rumours of past suicides at this location, perhaps fuelled by a myth that the indigenous Muisca Indians flew off the falls as eagles to their freedom during the Spanish conquest of South America – possibly, during Columbus’ own lifetime. It was once a sacred spot for the Muisca and plans to expand the hotel to eighteen stories in 1950 did not come to fruition.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Image: Luis Alveart, cc-nc-nd-4.0)

An exhibition was held within the once abandoned mansion‘s main hall on the August 23, 2013 after much refurbishment work. Presented by The National University of Columbia, it was entitled ‘Caverns: ecosystems of the underground world.’ La Fundación Granja Ecológica el Porvenir (the GEP Foundation) and the ICN (the Natural Sciences Institute of the university) continue to raise awareness of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Tequendama Falls area. Follow their progress on Facebook.

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