Sunday, December 7, 2014

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a Halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is a very popular tourist destination and place of pilgrimage in the country. The name "Salt Cathedral" is mostly to attract tourists - while a functioning church that receives as many as 3,000 visitors on Sundays, it has no bishop and therefore no official status as a cathedral in Catholicism.


The temple at the bottom has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus. The icons, ornaments and architectural details are hand carved in the halite rock. Some marble sculptures are included.


The Salt Cathedral is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture. Also it has been denominated as "Jewel of Modern Architecture". The cathedral represents for the Colombian people a valuable cultural, environmental and religious patrimony.


The cathedral is part of a larger complex including "Parque de la Sal" (Salt Park), and a Museum of mining, mineralogy, Geology and natural resources.