Just a short 10-minute walk from the Bello metro station lies Bello Park, officially known as Parque Santander, in the heart of the municipality on the northern extent of the Medellin’s ever expanding greater metropolitan area.
On any given afternoon, Bello Park will be filled with people of all ages enjoying its open spaces, chatting, sitting on the benches sipping the local coffee, and taking shade under the towering trees which provide respite from the Antioquian heat.
Renovated in 2006 by former Mayor Olga Suarez, the park is flanked by a bustling commercial area to the north — selling anything from clothes to kitchenware and bed frames — and a variety of bars, restaurants and night clubs dotting the park’s southern streets.
The park, or city square, resembles many others throughout Colombia’s cities and towns which are normally shadowed by an impressive Catholic church that not only forms the cultural center of the community, but also a reference point for tourists and locals of the area. Bello park’s primary church is now the Church of Our Lady of Rosario (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario), built in 1947 replacing the colonial-era Church of Our Lady of Rosario of Rosario of Hatoviejo constructed between 1792 and 1796.
Both churches occupy opposites sides of the park with the newer, taller Church of Our Lady of Rosario opening its doors only for morning and evening mass, while the white-walled Hatoviejo church remains open throughout the day.
The Pedestrian Walk and the Museum House
If the park has given the visitor enough relaxation time of watching the elderly men, dressed in their Sunday best playing cards or trying to sell antique goods, then a short walk along the Carrera 50 pedestrian street to the nearby “Museum House” of former Colombian President, writer and poet, Marco Fidel Suarez is recommended.
The pedestrian street, which begins with a large sculpture of two hands — one resembling Suarez’s baby hand and the other of his mother — hosts a number of local cafes, bars, an enclosed pool-nightclub, and a bustling Bingo hall predominantly filled with elderly women.
At the top of the street, lies the Museum House and birthplace of former president Suarez, preserved almost entirely in its original state and encased within a large glass-walled building. The informative museum, lined with murals and painting, depicts the life of the president from an early age to his presidency (1918-1921) and his death in 1927.The renovated Marco Fidel Suarez Library and Cultural centre can be found next to the museum.
The park is easily accessible by Medellin’s metro system and local buses leaving from the city center.
- Biblioteca Marco Fidel Suárez (Red de Bibliotecas)
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Hatoviejo (Wikipedia)
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Wikipedia)
- Marco Fidel Suárez (Wikipedia)