Thursday, December 27, 2012

Central Bogotá's Avenue of Ruins

Has anyone ever performed in this empty, crumbling amphitheatre?
Sculpture? Support column? Something points at the sky.

It was an elegant concept when someone designed it: An avenue bordered by sculptures, amphitheatres and public spaces descending from Bogotá's Eastern Hills down to the Palacio de Nariño. And perhaps it was, back whenever it was completed.

But then someone seems to have forgotten about the project. Today, the series of carefully designed landmarks along Calle 7 remind me of something from an abandoned city. Stairs leading nowhere, vacant amphitheatres, surreal, half-completed sculptures.

An older couple sits in front of a gaily-painted house. 
Once a kiosk, perhaps, but now a skeleton. 

Stairs to nowhere still look pleasant. 

A dead tree's sculpture-like trunk.

This pedestrian bridge, with perhaps art-deco inspired arches is barely used because of a reputation for muggings. 
A traditional corner shop. 
A couple walks past a mural. 

A homeless man sleeping on a curb. 

A tin wall sags.

This plaza overlooking Bogotá, with its columns and palm trees, seems to evoke the glory of Rome.  But instead it exhibits the neglect of modern times. 

Neighbors play basketball with Monserrate and the Eastern Hills as a barckdrop.

The view of Bogotá from near the Avenida Circunvular. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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