Posted by Courtney Scott on Sep 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Historic Colombian hotel to be converted into museum

Colombia news - Tequendama

A historic Colombian hotel that has been abandoned for nearly two decades will reopen its doors as an ecological museum.

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The Tequendama Falls Hotel (Hotel Salto del Tequendama) is being converted into the Tequendama Falls Museum of Biodiversity and Culture (Casa Museo Salto de Tequendama Biodiversidad y Cultura) with expositions on subterranean ecosystems.

The Tequendama Falls are located on the Bogota River in the San Antonio del Tequendama province of the Cundinamarca department, just southwest of Colombia’s capital Bogota, and have been a tourist destination for years.

The mansion that lies just outside of Bogota, allegedly constructed in 1923 by architect Carlos Arturo Tapias, was a symbol of the joy and elegance of the elite citizens of the 20’s that was left in a state of dust and oblivion after being totally abandoned for more than two decades because of river contamination.

“Originally the house was converted into a hotel, precisely for tourists coming to visit the falls, now what we are doing is a process of ecological restoration, and architectural restoration of the house. Ecologically so in terms of the restoration of the Bogota river and its attached architectural environment of the house, so that it can be converted into a museum,” said Maria Victoria, director of the Ecological Farm Foundation of Porvenir, to Colombia Reports.

The foundation in conjunction with the Institute of Natural Sciences of the National University is taking the first steps towards restoring the decadency of the architectural work. They are fighting to protect the flora and fauna of the environment, a process that has been in the works for nearly 15 years.

The sacred site of the hotel can be reborn and converted into a museum, restoring the regions’ environmental, cultural, and historic heritage with it. Allegedly, the house itself will be converted into the symbol of the Bogota River recuperation.

According to Victoria, the new museum offers tourists “a new biodiversity room…which will pay tribute to this place. A new observatory of the Bogota River will also be opened which will show the process of how the river is being recuperated,” as well as other rooms promoting environmental awareness where people can study and attend lectures.

“The site was very touristic before, but fell because of the contamination of the river, so what is being moved forward especially is that we can restore it somehow, the next step of our project we can focus more on the tourist theme than the environmental theme,” explained Victoria.