Monday, July 28, 2008

More from Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino



The Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino and Bolivarian Museum is a tranquil oasis in the midst of bustling Santa Marta, Colombia, and a place I would recommend to any visitor. The other day I discussed the older portion of the Quinta, but I would like to take some time to examine the newer part as well.

Above you can see the building that houses the "Country's Altar" located at the end of the Flags Square at the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. Constructed in 1930, it is the most recent addition to the property and definitely in better shape than the original villa.

Housed within the surrounding marble structures (which were constructed even more recently) is the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Art, which has a fine collection of art from all around Latin America. Most of the art has a "Bolivarian" theme and is related to themes of the Spanish conquest, or liberation from colonial rule.

In case you are wondering, the ants you can see on the outside of the building were part of an art installation--not a permanent aspect of the structure! (I accidentally stumbled into a storage room filled with paper-mache ants--kind of creepy! I really don't like bugs--even giant paper bugs!).

Here we can see the top portion of the "Country's Altar," which depicts the ideals on which Colombia was built. Simón Bolívar is shown at the top. The other figures represent justice (left) and work (right).


Another view of the courtyard.



The mural below was painted in 1998 and is located on a wall just outside the courtyard. It depicts various scenes from the life of Simon Bolivar. The mural is probably almost 100 feet wide and recounts numerous episodes from Bolivar's action-packed life. Here we can see the Liberator (seated on horseback) fighting bravely against the Spanish.



All of the countries that were liberated (or partially liberated) by Bolivar donated plaques to commemorate the construction of this monument. Here's a picture of Peru's donation (and of me with Aunt Carmen!).



I really loved seeing all the beautiful colonial architecture at the Quinta, but this newer part was beautiful as well. You could really tell that Santa Marta has invested a lot in making the Quinta de San Pedro a great tourist attraction. Our guide told us that the city of Santa Marta regularly holds benefits and other charity events in the museum and on the grounds. There is definitely a sense of "living history" here!

2 comments:

Melanie said...

I am so glad when local areas appreciate their own history. I think it helps give a sense of identity and pride. In this age of increasing globalisation it is so common for every town in the UK to have the same chain of shops. Some town planners at least do try to preserve older buildings (sadly not Southport) which keeps the character of the cities/towns.

I didn't know that anyone did William Morris quilts- how wonderful! I might just buy her book when it comes out- it's got to be quicker and easier than the rug/wallhanging I made.

Margaret said...

I know what you mean! Colombian's really cherish their older buildings (even if their methods of historical preservation aren't foolproof). I'll be doing a post on my visit to Cartagena soon. It's such an impressive city! They have so many beautifully preserved buildings there that date back to the 16th century. Pretty neat stuff!