With over 50 million inhabitants Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, with its rich cultural heritage reflecting influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, forced African labor, and immigration from Europe and the greater Middle East. Urban centres are concentrated in the Andean highlands and the Caribbean coast.
Colombia has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since at least 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and the Tairona, along with the Inca Empire that expanded to the southwesternmost part of the country. The Spanish landed first in La Guajira in 1499 and by the mid-16th century annexed part of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1819, but by 1830 the Gran Colombia Federation was dissolved, with what is now Colombia and Panama emerging as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903, leading to Colombia's present borders. Beginning in the 1960s, the country suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability, and rule of law, as well as unprecedented economic growth and development.
Colombia is considered a regional actor in international affairs, being the only NATO Global Partner in Latin America and a member of several major global and regional institutions, including the OECD, the UN, the World Trade Organization, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, the Association of Caribbean States, an associate member of Mercosur and other international organizations. Colombia's diversified economy is the third largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects. It is subsequently classified as part of the CIVETS group of leading emerging markets.
Galeras (Urcunina among the 16th-century indigenous people) is an Andeanstratovolcano in the Colombiandepartment of Nariño, near the departmental capital Pasto. Its summit rises 4,276 metres (14,029 ft) above sea level. It has erupted frequently since the Spanish conquest, with its first historical eruption being recorded on December 7, 1580. A 1993 eruption killed nine people, including six scientists who had descended into the volcano's crater to sample gases and take gravity measurements in an attempt to be able to predict future eruptions. It is currently the most active volcano in Colombia. Read more...
The club is one of the oldest in Colombia; they were founded in 1927, and trace their origins to the América Football Club, which was founded in 1918. They are also one of the most successful Colombian clubs at both the domestic and international levels, winning fourteen national titles and reaching the Copa Libertadores finals four times (including three straight from 1985 to 1987). Although they have never won the Copa Libertadores, they have won two international tournaments, the 1999 Copa Merconorte and the 1975 Copa Simón Bolívar. Read more...
A lowland Zenú cast-gold bird ornament that served as a staff head, dated 490 CE. This culture used alloys with a high gold content. The crest of the bird consists of the typical Zenú semi-filigree. Regular filigree is braided wire, but the Zenú cast theirs.
The zipa used to cover his body in gold and, from his Muisca raft, he offered treasures to the Guatavita goddess in the middle of the sacred lake. This old Muisca tradition became the origin of the El Dorado legend.
The main leader of the Muisca on the Bogotá savanna at the time of conquest was Tisquesusa. He led numerous efforts to resist Spanish invasion but was eventually killed in battle. His nephew, Sagipa, succeeded him and soon submitted to the conquistadors.
Ciudad Perdida is a major settlement believed to have been founded around 800 CE. It consists of a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a net of tiled roads and several small circular plazas. The entrance can only be accessed by a climb up some 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle.
Cutlet "Valluna", a typical dish of the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia and the Afro-Colombian culture of the area near the Pacífic Ocean. It includes a milanesa, usually prepared with a lean pork loin beef or chicken can also be used. Traditional accompaniments include rice, sliced tomatoes, onions, chopped fried plantains or fries and a drink called "Lulada" made with lulo fruit, water and sugar
The Teatro de Cristóbal Colón (The Christopher Columbus Theatre), also known as the "Teatro Colón", is located in Bogotá, Colombia and it is the nation's National Theatre.
The PastoLacquer is a decorative handicraft of precolumbian origin, that uses a type of natural rubber (the resin of the Mopa-mopa tree, Elavagia pastoensis Mora) which is colored and then stretched over woodwork pieces.
The Cartagena Film Festival is the oldest cinema event in Latin America. The central focus is on films from Ibero-America.