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Bogotá (officially Bogotá, D.C.

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for "Distrito Capital," definition "Capital District"), formerly referred to as Santa Fe de Bogotá, is the capital city of the southern American country of Colombia, and the largest and also most populated city in the country. The consist of of its metropolitan area, the municipalities such together Chía, Cota, Soacha, Cajicá and La Calera, bring its populace to well over 7 million people.

Bogotá is the educational, cultural, commercial, administrative, financial, and also political center of Colombia. Similar to many large, cosmopolitan cities, the is a city of varied contrasts, both economically and also culturally.

Often referred to as the "Athens of south America" because that its social and clinical institutions, Bogota is a flavorful mix the its Spanish, English and also the indigenous peoples" heritages.


Before the come of the Spanish, the area near existing day Bogotá to be sparsely occupied by the native Muisca. Lock were understand goldsmiths who are thought to have originated the myth of El Dorado with their heritage of roll their new chief in gold dust. <4> The area of present-day Bogota was originally dubbed Bacatá through the Muiscas meaning “planted fields.” <5> It to be the facility of your civilization before the Spanish explorers colonized the area, and it sustained a large population. The European settlement was started on august 6, 1538, by gunzo Jiménez de Quesada who quickly dispatched the neighborhood Muisca tribes, and named the area "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after ~ his birthplace Santa Fé and the neighborhood name. "Bacatá" had come to be the contemporary "Bogotá" by the moment it was made the capital of the brand-new Kingdom of Granada, which was then part of the Viceroyalty the Peru, and also later of the Viceroyalty of new Granada. The city soon came to be one of the centers that Spanish colonial power and also civilization in southern America.

In 1810-11 its citizens revolted versus Spanish ascendancy and collection up a federal government of their own, but had to compete with inner divisions and also the temporary go back to power that Spanish armed forces loyalists, that resumed control of the city indigenous 1816 to 1819, when Simón Bolívar caught it after his win at Boyacá. Bogotá was then make the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combine the regions of modern-day Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and also Ecuador. Once that republic was dissolved in 1830 into its ingredient parts, Bogotá stayed the funding of new Granada, i beg your pardon later came to be the Republic of Colombia. <6>

The city grew slowly because Bogotános (cachacos) wanted to keep their old culture, consisting of their cherished churches, convents, and also ornate Spanish colonial style homes. <6>

The city increased rapidly ~ 1940 as big numbers of rural Colombians migrated there trying to find greater economic opportunities. The is sometimes referred to as the "Athens of southern America."

On April 9th, 1948, sparked through the murder of the politics leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitan, the human being took come the streets, raided the shops and also burned the churches and also official buildings. In ~ the time, Bogotá to be a city that 400,000 world that had actually withstood many earthquakes, yet the "Bogotázo" as this is known, left the city in ruins. Soon after the Bogotázo, the very first modern buildings were constructed, adhered to by skyscrapers and also shopping centers. <7>

In 1956, the municipality was joined come other surrounding municipalities creating a "Special District" (Spanish: Distrito Especial).With the constitution of 1991, Bogotá was evidenced as the funding of Colombia getting the name "Santa Fe de Bogotá," and transforming the classification from special District come "Capital District" (Spanish: Distrito Capital).

The boost of medicine trafficking in the last 25 years has actually exacerbated the recurring civil conflict, return the frequent car bombings and also other action of terror that plagued Bogotá a decade earlier have subsided. Occasional political assassinations space however, grim reminders the the violence has actually not been totally eradicated. <4>

In respectable 2000 the capital"s surname was officially changed back from "Santa Fé de Bogotá" come the much more usual "Bogotá D.C.."




Bogotá"s lies in ~ latitude 3°41"24"N come 4°49"54"N and also longitude 74.3°W. The city has actually an area the 612.74 square miles (1,587 sq km). Consisting of the urban area, its surface ar is 668.73 square miles (1,732 sq km). <8>

Bogotá is situated in the center of Colombia, on the east of the "sabana de Bogotá," 8661 feet (2640 meters) above sea level ~ above a plateau of the east mountain variety of the Andes. Back "sabana," as it is popular called, is precise "savanna," the geographical site is actually a high plateau in the Andes Mountains. The extended region is additionally known as "altiplano cundi-boyacense" which literally method "high plateau the Cundinamrca and also Boyaca."

The Bogotá River the cross the "sabana" creating Tequendama drops to the south. Tributary rivers form valleys with prospering villages, whose economic situations are based upon agriculture, increasing livestock and also artesian production.

The "sabana" is bordered come the east by the east Cordillera that the Andes hill range. Bordering hills, which border city growth, operation from south to north, parallel to the Guadalupe and also Monserrate mountains. The western city border is the Bogotá River; Sumapaz paramo boundaries the south and to the phibìc Bogotá extends end the discussed plateau approximately the communities of Chía and Sopó.


Due come its high altitude and proximity come the equator, Bogotá has a constant, mild come cool climate year "round. Temperature fluctuations are fairly small with the mean monthly high temperatures varying from 59ºF to 62ºF (14.9ºC - 16.7ºC) while the average monthly low temperatures variety from 42ºF come 48ºF (5.6ºC - 8.7ºC). <9> Dry and rainy seasons alternating throughout the year. The driest months room December come February while April, May, September, October and November room the wettest. Bogotá averages 31.5 inch (799 millimeters) that rain each year spread over an mean of 185 rain days. <9>

Frost generally occurs in dried season and also during this period, the temperature falls below 0°C. The lowest temperature ever before recorded to be -8°C (17°F) inside the city and -10°C (14°F) in the surrounding towns that the savanna.

Climatic conditions are irregular and quite variable due to the El Niño and also La Niña climatic phenomena, which take place in and also around the Pacific basin and also are responsible for an extremely pronounced climatic changes.

Urban layout and nomenclature

The urban layout days to early american times, and also is a square layout adopted from Spain. The present street layout has calles which run perpendicular to the hills in one east-west direction with numbering boosting toward the north, and toward the southern from calle 1, and also carreras which run parallel to the hills in the south-north direction v numbering enhancing east and also west indigenous carrera 1. Brand-new urban sectors incorporate diagonal – similar to roads – and transversal – comparable to carreras. Roadways are numbered.

Bogotá has actually over one thousand neighborhoods or departments forming the emerged urban network. Areas of higher economic status room primarily located to the north and north-east. Poorer communities are located to the south and south-east, many of them squatter areas. The middle classes commonly inhabit the central, western and north-western part of the city.



Bogotá is the resources of the Republic of Colombia, and houses the nationwide Legislature, the supreme Court the Justice, and the facility of the executive management as well as the residence that the president of the Republic. The major Mayor and District Council space responsible because that city administration and room both chosen by well-known vote.

The city is separated into 20 localities: Usaquén, Chapinero, Santa Fe, san Cristóbal, Usme, Tunjuelito, Bosa, Kennedy, Fontibón, Engativá, Suba, Barrios Unidos, Teusaquillo, Los Mártires, Antonio Nariño, Puente Aranda, La Candelaria, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Ciudad Bolívar, Sumapáz.

Each the the 20 localities is administer by an administrative board elected by well-known vote, consisted of of no less than 7 members, as determined by the district Council. The primary Mayor designates local mayors native a trio propose by the respective administrative board.<10>


Bogotá is Colombia"s largest economic center and the headquarters of significant commercial banks, and also to the Banco de la República, Colombia"s central bank and also Colombia"s main stock industry (established 1928). Since of its condition as website of the country"s capital, the is residence to a variety of government agencies, which represent a major component of the city"s economy. Bogotá residences the armed forces headquarters and also is the center of Colombia"s telecommunications network. Public services include energy, sewer and also telephones. Energy and sewer bills room stratified based upon the place of the residence. Thus, the wealthier part of culture help subsidize the energy bills of the poorer part of society.

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Most companies in Colombia have actually their headquarters in Bogotá, and it is residence to plenty of foreign companies doing service in Colombia and neighboring countries. Bogotá is a major center because that the import and also export of products for Colombia and also the Andean community in Latin America and also is the residence of Colombia"s tire, chemical, and also pharmaceutical industries, however its chief activities are commercial. It is the hub the air take trip in the nation and the residence of south America"s an initial commercial airline Avianca (Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia). <11> Bogotá also receives money native exports such together flowers and emeralds. In downtown Bogotá, numerous dollars in domestically created rough and also cut emeralds are bought and also sold daily. <12>


The largest and also most populous city in Colombia, Bogotá had 7,881,156 citizens residing in 2,262,251 dwellings in its city area follow to the 2005 census.<13>

Reliable numbers on ethnicity are challenging to create as the national census dropped referrals to gyeongju after 1918, recognizing the impossibility of objective racial classification and not wishing to emphasize country or racial differences. In the late 1980s approximates concluded that mestizos (white-Indian mix) constituted approximately 50 percent of the population, whites 25 percent, mulattoes (black-white mix) and zambos (black-Indian mix) 20 percent, blacks 4 percent, and Indians 1 percent. The varying groups are uncovered in different concentrations transparent the nation, v the white skin - man tending come live greatly in the city centers, particularly in Bogotá. After the 1940s, the mestizos began moving come the cities, wherein they became component of the city working class or urban poor. <14>


In much less than 50 years, Bogotá walk from gift a little city with much less than 500,000 occupants to a metropolis of an ext than 7 million. <15> in between the mid-1980s come the beforehand 1990s, together the population grew, violence and also crime boosted excessively, resulting in Bogotá being considered one of the most dangerous cities in the people in the mid 1990s. At one point it had actually a homicide rate of 80 per 100,000 people. Since then however, Bogotá has gone to an excellent lengths to adjust its crime rate and also its image. The adjust was the result of a participatory and integrated security policy that was very first adopted in 1995. Because of the success, this security plan has continued to be imposed ever since. In 2005, Bogotá"s murder price had decreased to 23 persons per 100,000 inhabitants, a 71 percent drop indigenous 10 years before. Interestingly, by the means of comparison, the city today has actually a reduced murder price than Washington, D.C., Caracas, São Paulo, Mexico City, Panama City, and Rio de Janeiro. <16>

While Bogotá was properly reducing homicides, other Colombian urban were experiencing substantial increases in the homicide rate, as result of the armed conflict and also drug smuggling in the so late 1990s. Bogotá likewise reduced the variety of fatal traffic mishaps from 25 per 100,000 residents in 1995 come 8.7 in 2003. The city reduced other crime by 35 percent between 1998 and 2004. <17>

In a take trip warning date June 4, 2007, the united state State room stated

"The department of State alerts U.S. Citizens of the threats of travel to Colombia. Violence by narcoterrorist groups and other criminals continues to affect all components of the country, urban and also rural…. Violence has ongoing to diminish markedly in most urban areas, including Bogotá, Medellin, Barranquilla, and Cartagena…. Terrorist groups such together the Revolutionary equipped Forces the Colombia (FARC) and also the national Liberation army (ELN), and also other criminal organizations, proceed to kidnap civilians because that ransom or together political bargaining chips. No one can be taken into consideration immune native kidnapping top top the communication of occupation, nationality, or other factors…. U.S. Government officials and also their family members in Colombia are permitted to travel to major cities in the country, however only by air. They room not permitted to usage inter- or intra-city bus transportation. They likewise are not permitted to take trip by road external of urban areas at night. Every Americans in Colombia space urged come follow these precautions." <18>