Top 10 Architectural Photography Locations in Bogotá
If you’re an architecture aficionado, the Colombian capital of Bogota should be high on your list. The city’s architecture contains bits and pieces from throughout the country’s history, from colonial structures to classical designs from the time of the Republic.
If you’re a first time visitor to Bogotá —or a native tourist in your own city— we recommend this architecture guide for the top 10 locations to capture the city’s best works.
Plaza de Bolívar Cra. 7 # 11-10
Bogotá’s central plaza is surrounded by historic buildings: on its south-eastern side, lies the Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé, recognized for its iconic neo-classical republican architecture. Following Séptima towards Calle 9 you can find the turret that holds the school’s flag. This corner grabs the attention of passers-by thanks to its facade and the dome that serves as an observatory. The pedestrian-friendliness of the space allows for numerous angles of this architectural icon.
Avenida Jiménez Cl. 16 # 4-64
This thoroughfare in historic downtown Bogotá is full of stops that no architecture junkie should miss. Here you can find the Hotel Continental Bluedoors, which survived one of the most critical moments in the city’s history: the Bogotazo, a series of riots after the 1948 assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the leader of the Liberal Party. Since then, the site has become one of the oldest hotels in Bogotá. After being closed down for 17 years (1993-2010), today the hotel features some much-needed renovations while still maintaining its original facade. Without a doubt, the hotel is a necessary addition to any architectural photo album.
Known as the tallest building in Colombia at the moment (216 meters/67 floors), this unfinished skyscraper grabs attention from different points in the city. Looking up at the glass facade, it’s as if the building blends into the Bogotá sky reflected on its exterior. The building’s height, its multi-tiered design, (visible from the south-western side) and its combination of textures make it an attention-grabbing architectural photo-op.
La Candelaria Neighborhood Cra. 6 # 10-01
In the high points of this Bogotá neighborhood, the streets are colored with the painted facades of the houses lining them. Boasting a colonial style, every street offers something different, whether it be its name, the details in the houses’ windows, or the rustic style of their doors. No two blocks are the same and, upon being photographed, offer a variety of perspectives in single image. Thanks to the paths that run through this part of the city, you can see the contrast between this neighborhood and the city’s more modern buildings.
Attorney General’s Office Carrera 5 # 15-80
This building, located between Calle 19 and Av. Jiménez, is an attractive site for architecture aficionados because of its structural design and the lines present in its facade. It’s possible to take in the building from Carrera 5 or above Calle 15. The photographic possibilities are endless thanks to the reliefs on the building’s exterior and the contrast generated between them. All of this combined with surrounding cityscape makes for an unequaled perspective of the city.
Estación Museo Nacional (National Museum Station) Av. Carrera 7 – Calle 28
In this sector of Bogotá, in the vicinity of the public transport hub at the intersection of 7th and 10th avenue, it’s possible to take in urban views that feature popular sites such as Hotel Tequendama and the Colpatria Tower. Thanks to the zone’s large number of buildings, it’s possible to capture them from different angles to create a skyline.
In the mid-sixties, at the intersection of Calle 19 and Av. 3rd, these two buildings were built and baptized as “Procoil”. The proximity of the two towers (A and B) offers an intoxicating view to whoever stands between them and looks upwards. The fascinating view of the sky as it meets the towers seems completely disconnected from the decades-old residential space.
Once the tallest building in Colombia, this icon of an office building is a gem of Colombian architecture. Its imposing height over El Dorado Avenue/ Calle 26– and the uninhibited views from the Centro Internacional–makes this structure a magnet for photographers. Its black and white vertical lines (a combination of facade and window) that run the length of the building make for spectacular shots.
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá (The Javeriana Catholic University) Cra. 7 # 40 – 62
La Pontificia Universidad Javeriana renovated several of its departments, ensuring both its students and faculty modern facilities. In spite of being a private institution, the public is welcome to view and photograph the renovations from the outside. The “Jorge Hoyos Vasquez” building, built by architect Felipe Uribe, boasts a variety of textures and patterns in its facade that allows the light and shadow to mix and mingle among the reliefs of the building. The large windows of the university’s newer buildings host the reflections of the campus’ older structures.
Edificio Aseguradora del Valle (Aseguradora del Valle Building) Carrera 10 # 24 – 55
Few people know its real name, however, this building, adjacent to the Colpatria tower, draws the attention of whoever sees it for the first time. Its horizontal lines contrast with the vertical ones of the neighboring building, emphasizing its already outstanding vertices. Its front is completely symmetrical, however, from a diagonal or side perspective, the divisions between each floor appear distorted.
When it comes to capturing this masterpiece by architect Rogelio Salmona, the possibilities are endless. No matter where you stand, you’ll be able to take spectacular shots of the residential buildings. This place harmonizes the pedestrian traffic thanks to the lack of railings and the availability of space between each of the structures. The combination between the tiered silhouettes, the height, and the brick facade both contrasts and complements this sector of La Macarena neighborhood. Its spaces not only offer a vantage point of the buildings but make for great photo-ops dues to their elevated position from the city.
Did we miss any buildings? Let us know in the comments.